Some packaging is essential for getting products to our stores and customers in good shape. But it creates waste and uses valuable resources unless designed and reused in a circular way.
In 2019, Superdry became a signatory to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s (EMF) ‘New Plastics Economy’ Global Commitment aimed at championing ‘Elimination’, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Circulation’ to ensure plastics never become waste or pollution.
We have already made significant progress towards our targets:
We have already converted 93% of all our packaging to recyclable, reusable or compostable alternatives and will convert the balance in line with our 2025 targets. Our main focus here is on moving from unrecyclable plastics to recylable paper alternatives and supporting practical recycling mechanisms for where we do still use plastics. This year we reduced our total plastic use by 11% by substituting our plastic ecommerce bag for a paper alternative.
The average level of recycled content within our plastic packaging is 29%, which is driven mostly by our use of polybags. This was due to partnering with a new polybag manufacturer who offer a closed loop manufacturing process where they collect our old polybags, helping us switch from 100% virgin LDPE to 30% recycled content (certified by Recycled Content Standard [RCS]) and removing ~73 tonnes virgin plastic this year. During 2021 we took a step further to achieve our target 4 years early in our polybags and introduced a 70% recycled content polybag. We therefore expect this years reported use of recycled content to significantly increase.
You can read more about our committment to the EMF New Plastics Economy in our latest report here.
We also support the move towards a zero-deforestation future by championing circularity in our packaging and using recycled materials where possible. Where virgin fibres are needed to create the most sustainable packaging, we will move to FSC sourced paper.
We are making progress here throughout the year and provide regular updates in our SUSTAINABLE STORIES.
New lightweight paper packaging
In 2020-21 we introduced new, rebranded, lightweight and recyclable ecommerce and retail bags as part of our sustainable brand reset.
We buy around 8 million retail bags per year which are made from 100% FSC Recycled certified paper, and send out more than 5 million individual ecommerce parcels to our customers in 100% FSC certified paper bags.
Balancing function and sustainability, we now ensure our products reach their new home in good shape, in packaging that is easily recyclable, and saves up to 60% of its carbon footprint.