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Zalando tests reusable packaging in the Nordics

Zalando tests reusable packaging in the Nordics

Zalando is launching a pilot with reusable packaging. The test will run for four weeks and is aimed at customers in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. During the pilot, 10,000 customers will receive their orders in reusable shipping bags, so the German fashion company can reduce the packaging waste.

The idea behind the pilot is that Zalando uses the same packaging repeatedly for shipping and returns and thus reduce the production of packaging. The company thinks reusable packaging could soon become the new standard for shipping.

Packaging must always be returned

Zalando also believes the special packaging will be a change for its customers. “On the one hand, the unpacking experience is different from that of the classic package, on the other hand, a more intensive engagement with the packaging is required. ” Meaning, that even if a customer doesn’t want to return anything, the packaging still must be returned.

“To make the concept of reusable packaging scalable, the entire ecommerce industry is needed”, Uwe Streiber, Team Warehouse Consumables at Zalando, says. “It requires standardized processes and centralized delivery options for reusable packaging. Reusable packaging transforms material from waste to resource. A uniform system in which customers can return the packaging, for example to the supermarket, would make it easier for everyone.”

Packaging comes from Finnish startup RePack

Zalando runs the pilot in cooperation with RePack, a startup from Finland. This company has run similar tests or cooperation with other ecommerce companies, such as H&M (with its group brand Weekday), Mud Jeans, Tchibo and Otto.

The RePack cycle as tested by Zalando.
The RePack cycle as tested by Zalando.

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