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The Jilly Box

Reducing Plastic Waste With The Jilly Box

Hey everyone! It’s Team Jilly Box here! In honour of Plastic-Free July, we’re taking over the blog today and inviting you to go behind the scenes with us as we show you how we make your Jilly Box as sustainable as can be! From creating biodegradable boxes to selecting eco-friendly products and building a fantastic network of partners committed to reducing environmental impact, you’re certainly in for a treat!

If you have known The Jilly Box for a while, we hope you noticed that sustainability is a top value for us. We love doing good and are committed to continuously learning and educating our community to shop more consciously. Besides working hard to minimize plastic use, we work closely with our suppliers and community to reduce all kinds of waste and integrate eco-friendly practices into everything we do! Ready to learn all about it? Let’s dive right in!

Recyclable, Reusable and Biodegradable: The Jilly Boxes

Did you know that The Jilly Box itself, the beautifully decorated cardboard in which we pack our curation of products every season, is reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable? That’s right! Our boxes are made from recycled materials and EVERYTHING about them – right down to the water activated paper tape we use to seal the boxes – can be recycled!

We are proud to say that our boxes are printed right here in British Columbia, Canada, using only vegetable based inks! How cool is that?! BoxMaster, our partner responsible for printing the boxes, treats all ink waste in-house with no effluence entering the municipal sewage system. They are also Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) chain of custody (CoC) certified, meaning they source all their materials from responsibly managed forests.

Jillian Harris at The Jilly Box Warehouse

And what about the packaging of the products that go INSIDE The Jilly Box? “Reducing the use of plastic is a requirement and we will always work with our suppliers to find an alternative solution whenever possible!”, explains our Procurement Manager Anna Thompson.

That’s what we did with the custom Jilly Box Studded Tumbler from Astor Drinkware. “Tumblers typically come individually wrapped in bubble wrap for protection. We worked alongside Astor to use a recyclable paper cushion that is 100% biodegradable, all while providing similar protection from impact”.

The ASTOR Drinkware Jilly Box Studded Tumbler and it's packaging in honour of Plastic-Free July.

We frequently partner with suppliers that already use environmentally friendly packaging with most of their products, which is the case of Hudson and Oak. You may recognize their name from The Summer 2022 Jilly Box and the gorgeous Summer Scallop Planter included in it, which is available to purchase here!

This home goods brand specializes in timeless ceramics for your everyday use. Can you imagine how challenging it is to pack and ship ceramics without the use of plastic? Sarah Henderson, founder of Hudson and Oak, was not intimidated by it. “Our more oversized items required the occasional use of bubble wrap and styrofoam, so we developed a recycled honeycomb packaging that protects the items!”, explained.

Sturdy, recyclable and reusable, the packaging of The Jilly Box Scallop Planter was developed using the same principles. “It took us several months to design the right box for The Jilly Box planter and keep it safe without using bubble wrap or single-use plastic. The result was worth the time and commitment”, said Sarah. If you want to know more about Hudson & Oak sustainable practices or how to use their products, be sure to check out the brand’s takeover on The Jilly Box Instagram on Thursday, July 28th!

Jillian Harris with the Summer Scallop Planter included inside The Summer Jilly Box in honour of Plastic-Free July.

From the Warehouse to Your Home

Have you ever ordered products – clothing, home decor, among others – from an e-commerce brand and received each piece wrapped in a single plastic bag? At The Jilly Box, we do our best to ensure our suppliers send their products to us using paper-made wrapping materials as much as possible. This policy has made us reduce plastic waste at our warehouse by 65%!

If a product comes with plastic packaging that is not needed, we ensure it is properly recycled. “All soft plastics are recycled through Interior Freight Recycling”, said Katherine Johnson, co-founder of Locality, The Jilly Box Warehouse, located in Vernon. And if you’ve ordered any goodies from The Jilly Box Market, you may have noticed that it arrives in a padded mailer made of recyclable paper – safe to go in your paper or compost bin! (Make sure to open it on the tear-seam tab at the top to avoid the padding from coming out and making a big environmentally-friendly mess!).

While we are constantly working to reduce the use of plastic, we recognize that there are still some areas in which it is required for the protection of individual products or the boxes themselves. Our team uses plastic film to wrap up The Jilly Box pallets as they’re handed over to Canada Post. We are proud to say that most of this wrapping gets recycled through Canada Post’s Pacific Processing Centre, located in Richmond, BC.

The LOCALITY team at The Jilly Box Warehouse in front of Jilly Boxes in honour of Plastic-Free July.
Katherine Johnson (left) and Julia Allen (right), owners of Locality.

Becoming Environmentally Conscious

When Jillian and Tyler first defined the core values that would guide The Jilly Box business, being environmentally conscious was top of mind. Implementing best practices in sustainability to drive our production was the starting point, but we knew that finding the right partners was essential for our success.

The Jilly Box Team goes through a lot of vetting when deciding which brands and products to include in each box. We make sure our partner brands are aligned with our values and that their products have the least impact on the environment. Although we recognize we may not get it right all the time, we are continuously working towards improving. Oftentimes, we are lucky enough to partner with brands that are way ahead on this journey and we take that as an opportunity to learn from them. That was the case with Goldilocks.

This zero waste company created the custom Beeswax Wraps set included in The Summer Jilly Box! For this project, they decided to use a digital printing method that is more eco-friendly, but the trade off is sometimes having an overage of fabric to account for any potential misprints – which happened this time.

In this case, getting creative in finding solutions to reduce waste was a game changer. We worked with Amy Hall, founder and CEO of Goldilocks, to make single beeswax wraps with the remaining fabric of The Jilly Box exclusive prints and offer them alongside the trio included in the box. “Reducing plastic waste for the end user is at the core of what we do, but we also hold ourselves accountable to the same standards for our manufacturing processes”, said Amy. You can purchase the entire Jillian Harris x Goldilocks beeswax collection here.

A Never-Ending Sustainability Journey

The impact of human activity in our environment is real. The Jilly Box team strives to be a driver for change and, most importantly, to learn from our community, our partners and our staff so we can all do better together!

We hope that we can inspire you to start (or continue) your sustainability journey, whether in your work, home, or neighbourhood. In the meantime, you can count on us to continue delivering to your door a quarterly lifestyle box filled with Jillian’s favourite products, but most importantly, with brands that are taking good care of our planet for future generations!

Team Jilly Box

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