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CASE STUDY: treen Eco-Friendly Carrier Bags

CASE STUDY: treen Eco-Friendly Carrier Bags


treen is an Edinburgh-based vegan fashion retailer, offering a selection of style must-haves from a carefully selected choice of brands that make a positive difference. They are the first ones to admit that living ethically and sustainably is complicated and making the transition from fast fashion does present its challenges, so their mission is to make this step easier by “bringing positive impact fashion to the conscious woman” and enabling her to have “a killer wardrobe without killing the planet”!

Over the years, treen have had two pop up stores. However, following significant growth over the last year which saw them massively increase their product range and expand into menswear and homeware too, they decided to open their first permanent store! This, of course, led to a complete reassessment of all their activities as a brand.

treen had previously always used cotton tote bags, which they felt to be a great marketing initiative and a sustainable alternative to using plastic. They realised, however, that these cotton tote bags had to be used a certain number of times for them to merit being labelled as sustainable, and taking into consideration the considerably greater volumes that would be needed for their new store opening, they decided that it would be wisest to reconsider this choice of packaging and opt instead for something that would have immediate impact and be more eco-friendly in the short-term.

Interestingly, Blake was recommended to the treen team through another sustainable fashion brand, Kestin Hare, who we have very recently designed packaging for too! With their similar values, the two brands have a long-standing friendship dating back to a period when they both worked in the same premises, so they frequently swap tips on topics such as the best eco-friendly packaging choices, and Kestin were very willing to recommend Blake!


Dario, our Regional Account Handler for Scotland, was thrilled at the prospect of working with the treen team to design and create their new bags for their store opening, and after meeting to discuss various ideas and look into what would be the most recyclable and eco-friendly, a joint decision was made in favour of a personalised paper carrier bag.

treen had never used paper before, but as a completely natural, recyclable and biodegradable material, this definitely felt like a step in the right direction! Something that looks attractive, feels premium and is easy for the user to recycle not to mention giving endless options for personalisation, this ticked all the boxes.

The team commented,

“As all our brands are vegan, ethically made from sustainably sourced materials and have a transparent supply chain, going eco-friendly and plastic free was a no brainer! We want to give a great customer experience and provide packaging that would have a premium look and feel yet wouldn’t be a faff for them to recycle.”

During the design process, there were a number of requirements that treen had that influenced the way the finished product would be made. For Dario, the most important thing was achieving a solution that would meet all the needs for the fashion label so he was more than happy to accommodate for these!

Firstly, we chose to go with a twisted paper handle rather than rope to ensure that the bag was 100% paper construction and would be fully and easily recyclable. The main body of the bag was manufactured from a durable brown kraft paper that would give an eco-friendly look and feel yet still be substantial enough to hold treen’s heavier items such as coats or candles. We avoided using any gloss finish so there would be nothing that would compromise on the recyclability of the bag and last but not least, treen chose a print that was nice and solid and had a sharp, premium yet natural appearance in line with their branding.


The feedback we received form treen on the finished bags has been more than we could have hoped for – see below:

“The way you worked with us was fantastic – I’m not kidding! Your customer service was very aligned with our own and you were friendly and easy to chat to. We were so grateful that you got these to us well ahead of our opening weekend. The lead time was amazing as we had a lot going on, so it was one less worry knowing the bags had all arrived!”
“Dario was going away on holiday, and during that time he went above and beyond to keep in touch and provide us with everything we needed. He gave us consistent, reliable customer service.”
“The bags are great – they’re exactly what we needed! They are a nice balance between premium and eco-friendly and when you see people walking out the store with them they hold their own as a brand for sure.”
Next CASE STUDY: The Avid Seamstress

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