Softstar, a handcrafted shoe company in Philomath, Oregon, has introduced zero-waste shipping materials in the latest addition to its sustainability efforts.
The company, which operates out of a restored 1940s Oregon roller rink, has held sustainability as a core value for many years. Power from wind and solar energy, an employee garden and compost, and electric vehicle charging are a few of the green features established at the workshop. In addition, Softstar always is exploring more ways to walk lighter on the earth.
It’s no secret that direct-to-consumer businesses generate considerable waste through the use of single-use packaging and shipping materials. Footwear is a major offender as many shoes traditionally are shipped in a shoebox-within-a-box.
While Softstar has eschewed the shoebox and used recyclable and repurposed packing materials, the company sought to lessen the environmental impact of its shipping process even further by pursuing a zero-waste philosophy.
Enter RePack reusable packaging. RePack has created durable and reusable Velcro bags that can be shipped, returned, cleaned and reused up to 50 times (or more) over their life cycle. When Softstar CEO Tricia Salcido was introduced to this solution, she was immediately on board.
“Reusable shipping bags make so much sense for Softstar and our sustainability goals,” said Salcido. “We hope to see more companies like us utilize this option in the future. When customers receive their shoes, they simply fold the reusable bag with its prepaid USPS label and pop it in their mailbox to be returned for reuse. It is that simple!”
Softstar estimates the switch to reusable bags will save more than 4,000 pounds of cardboard and plastic waste from going to the landfill over the next year.