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Monday, November 15, 2010

Boxes!

I'm hoping you guys will chime in with some advice for me here... for a while now, I've been sending out all of my wedding- and engagement- style rings (which these days is about 90% of my work) in these very traditional (and to be honest, slightly boring) velvet flip-top boxes -


I chose them because I wanted something pretty traditional, and I thought that my customers would appreciate the flip-top action that is so ingrained in our culture when it comes to wedding proposals. (Mine are a little more unique because they do have my logo embossed in silver on the inside of the lid.)

However, in my ongoing quest to make my business as ethical and eco-friendly as possible, I've been giving these boxes some serious thought lately, and I think they have to go. Nothing about them is environmentally friendly - plastic innards, foam and velvet, and they are likely a one-use item, destined to either sit forever in someone's jewelry box, or more likely, in the landfill. Plus, they're made in China, which I'm guessing means horrid labor conditions.

The problem is that I have not been able to source a box that meets all of my goals: (1) a fairly traditional/recognizably 'engagement' design (i.e. flip-top), (2) less plastic/foam; more recycled materials, and (3) manufactured as ethically as possible. But I think I can at least do better than what I'm doing now.

Here are the options. I'm hoping you guys will comment and let me know your thoughts on this issue. I want to be sensitive to my customers' needs while still honoring the environment as much as possible...

These are the only paper (non-plastic) boxes I can find that incorporate a flip-top design. However, they are not made from recycled paper, and they are also made in China. Blerg.

These are a little better - made from recycled paper (both the inner box and the black paper outer), and made in the USA. But they lack the traditional flip-top design. And they do still contain a foam pad for holding the ring (I think anything I find is going to have that, unfortunately).

This is the same design in silver foil. The inner box is made from recycled materials but I don't think the outer silver paper is.

And finally, the same design in white.

So what do you think???
Anyone know of a source with better options?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I chose to order an engagement ring through you because of the quality of your work, the beauty of your rings, and your commitment to sustainability. As long as the ring is protected in transit, the box is irrelevant.

Just my input, but I suspect that the majority of the people who choose to purchase a ring through you do not prioritize the traditional box. Maybe the box could be optional.

-Kyle

Suzanne said...

I'm with Kyle. I bought rings for the ring, not for the box. Your purple boxes are great, and I think they could be a good option.

The recycled black boxes are my favorite of this lot. Even though the lid doesn't open on a hinge, the recipient can take a lid off to find their ring waiting so there is an element of romance and excitement there. Plus, recycled!

jhollywooddesigns said...

I like the recycled paper boxes in black. The black looks more polished, and since your work is high end black seems like a better fit. The hinged boxes are attractive, but not recycled so maybe keep a few in stock and let customers choose if they'd like a hinged box for the big opening?

jhollywooddesigns said...

I like the recycled paper boxes in black. The black looks more polished, and since your work is high end black seems like a better fit than silver.

The hinged boxes are attractive, but not recycled so maybe keep a few in stock and let customers choose if they'd like a hinged box for the big opening?

Chelsea said...

This would potentially be a lot of work for you, but you could start a jewelry box recycling program. Let people mail back their boxes if they wish (and/or old boxes that are just sitting around). When people are ordering a ring, perhaps you could have several options for boxes (brand new box, reused box, no box?). I know I would pay for shipping to mail it back to you, because I want to be environmentally conscious as possible, and I have no use for a ring box once I get it.

Anonymous said...

I think you should give the customers a chance to choose the box, between the traditional not ecofriendly and the recycled black box. Depending on the purpose of the ring or on how much the ring is worn, how it is stored after buying etc people might want and need different things regarding the box. However, you shouldn't pay too much attention to the boxes as the ring is the main thing.

Recycling program for the boxes is also a cute idea. It would be kind of nice to think whether my little black box has been used for proposal before, what joyous moments has the box witnessed and who might get it after me. However, it may be too much work depending on how many people would actually recycle their boxes.

Kirsten said...

I admit, I really like the non-recycled black box with the lift up lid. It looks different, sleek, and it's a nice design. It does not, however, sound like it fits your vision, so I would say go with the black recycled paper version. The recycled paper also looks a little sturdier than the non-recycled one and I would definitely make sure that what you send protects your ring, which is really what they're ordering.

I agree, you could just offer options. It wouldn't matter to me how my ring arrives because I don't need a fancy display box, but some people might want to pay for a fancier box.