The nice folks at Lil Packaging asked me to try out some of their packaging.
This was really exciting for me, being a bit of an eco-conscious type, plus a lifelong stationery, packaging and printing geek!
Lil Packaging certainly align well with my own branding, some key points I love about the business are:
- Lil Packaging claim to be the only packaging supplier ensuring every single box they sell is guaranteed environmentally ‘green’.
- Their vision is to be the world’s most ethical ecommerce packaging provider, with a commitment for all products to go plastic-free in 2019. The subject of reducing plastic is something I am addressing myself, and I intentionally do not send Greetings Cards in cello bags. A lot of my Clothing range is also made from natural, vegan fibres and I am working towards phasing out as much plastic-based fabric as possible.
- Lil Packaging is made locally to me – meaning a lower carbon footprint, from their door to mine.
- Their 100% Recyclable products are made from FSC® certified (Forest Stewardship Council) materials, produced from well-managed forests and/or recycled materials. This complements my Greetings Cards and Notebooks which are also made from recycled materials.
- Products are printed using plant-based, up-cycled inks and use eco-friendly glues which do not contain any animal products, and have not been tested on animals. This is essential to me – everything on my website is suitable for vegans.
- Lil Packaging genuinely put research and innovation into their products, which is not common with mass-produced packaging.
Shopping online.Lil’s website is mostly quite simple to use. Whilst shopping, I could preview and edit the content of my cart (and the pricing) in the top right of my screen.
Using the ‘search by by size’ tool, I was able to select a box suitable for shipping Word Art frames internationally - I had to find a specific box capacity to fit Royal Mail’s size restrictions. There is also a handy ‘Wish list’ tool so I could save items I was unsure of or wanted to compare.
One moment I found a little confusing was whilst looking for an envelope to fit A5 sized products. I thought the ‘A5’ envelope would fit the bill, but discovered that this is a product name, and bears no reference to sizing!
What appealed to me when using the website, was the Royal Mail friendly sizes within Lil’s ‘Maximiser’ range. This potentially reduces my workflow by providing the best packaging solution for each of my orders, without me having to pack, weigh and measure each parcel.
At checkout, I could see the postage cost straight away, without having to create a login or enter a shipping address.
The products I ordered from their website were a ‘pizza style’ box Lil 249074, Lil SW 41x36x8, A-LTR Envelope, SL1 Letterbox, iSL3 Breezebox.
Did they deliver?
When the A-LTR Envelopes first arrived I had some reservations – they appeared less stiff than the board-backed envelopes I usually use. However I was pleased to discover as I was stacking them on the shelf they took up a fraction of the space of the same quantity of board-backed envelopes, and when I weighed them I realised they were 5g lighter and 1cm longer!
Thoughtful touches include easy to open strips and friendly customer messaging.
It good to see that the ethical and environmental credentials are printed on the packaging. This is something to be very proud of, and really aligns with my own environmental ethos and branding.
One thing I would have liked is larger ‘Fragile’ wording. I felt it blended into the packaging and I often added an extra ‘fragile’ sticker. Many of my packets travel overseas and I want to be sure they can last the journey.
I had only planned to ship my Illustrated Greetings Cards in the A-LTR Envelopes, but soon realised they also had the capacity to expand, and are able to protect other products such as my A6 Notebooks, Temporary Tattoos and Pocket Mirrors, making them much more utilisable. These are now my new best friend!
SL1 Letterbox & iSL3 Breezebox.
I must admit I was impressed by the video of the SL1 Letterbox & iSL3 Breezebox. I was so excited to pack my first Breezebox that I foolishly didn’t look at the instructions. I pulled open the box, and the glue immediately tore away and I then proceeded to try to hold together and simultaneously pack the box quite awkwardly.
Let’s just say my second attempt went a lot smoother. It couldn’t have been much more simple, the design is very smart and I can see how workflow would be quick and easy.
Finally the whole thing was packed, and what initially seemed a bit of a flimsy box actually turned into a very lightweight and space-efficient recycled box.
These products are part of Lil’s ‘Royal Mail maximiser’ range and I could really get of sense of how saving space and weight would play a big part in keeping the shipping costs down. The boxes fit perfectly through the large letter slot (as long as you don’t over-pack them and tape the sides securely).
I would say these items, although lovely to use, are a higher-end product and quite costly, it is more suitable for more valuable goods rather than cost-saving bundles.
Again, these boxes also include the easy open strips and friendly customer messaging.
Pizza style box Lil 249074, Lil SW 41x36x8.
Unfortunately the boxes that were delivered were a little oversized and exceeded the size limit for Royal Mail international parcels, which is what I had planned to use them for. I was still able to use these for certain couriers.
Having the extra edge on the pizza box made the box a lot more sturdy along the sides, however this style of box means less layers of card packaging along the top surface area of the box, which I personally prefer when shipping Word Art frames.
All my packaging fillers are re-used, recyclable and some are biodegradable too. I collect used fillers (such as air pockets) from a small local business and also re-use anything that I receive in deliveries.
I also got a sneak peak of the new Lil Bag. I am really pleased to learn that these new bags not only are helping to reduce our use of single-use plastic mail bags, but they are also printed using plant-based, up-cycled inks and do not contain any animal products!