How reusable packaging is ideal for (fashion) rentals
Reusable packaging is an integral part of the user experience in rentals, adding convenience, cost efficiency and sustainability to the rental experience.
About Unown Fashion
Let’s face it: we live in a society that needs to consume less. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with our closets! Fashion rentals is here to help shoppers do just that. Unown Fashion is renting system makes more than 50 fashion brands accessible to responsible German and Austrian shoppers, so they can fill their closets with variety and still be eco-friendly.
Packaging plays a strategic role in rental
If consumer clothes remain inside the loop and never become waste, why shouldn’t the packaging? An existing circular model is probably where it makes the least sense to ship with single-use packaging. The Unown team turned to reusable packaging brands to achieve several missions:
- Enable waste reduction
- Fit products of various sizes
- Align with and support the Unown brand
- Create value for the rental experience
A monthly packaging subscription for closed loops
When Unown first contacted RePack, our rental service as it is today didn’t exist. We built the following model after a three-month pilot period.
Unown now rents RePack bags every month. The company pays a monthly fee based on the number of bags in circulation.
Each bag can be used multiple times monthly without being charged extra.
Service model also responds to fluctuation delivery volume whenmore bags happen are needed due to an unexpected order increase. Our service includes replacements to damaged bags too.
Unown removes leftover tape and stickers with the equipment supplied by our team. The bags are quickly ready to be reused again. Though it’s less likely to happen in a rental mode, some bags require cleaning between uses.
Only two packaging sizes are necessary because the bags are adjustable, and the velcro on allows them to adjust to the size of the products. Unown’s branded stickers were placed on the bags, adding a little personalisation and specific instructions to the experience.
The most crucial part of the project was creating an accessible, understandable, and enjoyable rental experience for program members. When reusable bags were first introduced, some users returned them with unnecessary additional tape or to the wrong address. The RePack and Unown teams collaborated on design instructions placed inside each new order. This ensured success!
This real life test allowed us to learn on consumer behaviour and we have since made changes to our packaging itself to make returns even easier!
To wrap up
In its last year of operation, Unown embraced the RePack rental model with resounding success and we at RePack engaged regularly with Unown team on their reusable packaging needs.
Unown's commitment to reusable packaging not only aligned with the circular fashion ethos but also resonated with their brand goals: keeping both clothes and packaging in the sustainable loop.
Everything was going great.
Except that it wasn't.
Unknown to us, Unown had started on customisation project with a competitor and suddenly stopped our partnership and announced a branded solution. Design was almost 1:1 with RePack design but with Unown print.
We were flabbergasted.
We could not understand why Unown had not brought up the need to customised the design with us, their current partners but instead kept ordering more and told us how well everything is going.
Few weeks after the branded packaging announcement the company went into administration and Unown stopped trading in the Spring 2023.
We believe in transparent, honest and open communication., even when things get difficult. And especially then. It's the Nordic no nonsense style.