Seed paper tags are a relatively new and creative way for sustainable brands and conscious consumers to minimize their carbon footprint. Rather than being made of paper, cardboard, or other material that will most always end up in the waste, these tags encourage consumers to save and repurpose them into beautiful flowers or tasty herbs. So what's not to like about this idea? Well from a consumers standpoint, especially one who appreciates sustainable options and eco-conscious initiatives, seed paper tags are AWESOME! From a brands perspective, there are a few things to watch out for before you decide to implement these into your packaging options. In this article I will describe the good and the bad of our experience with seed paper tags in hopes to help others decide whether or not they are a good fit for their brand.
Seed paper tags are made by pressing seedlings between a few layers of biodegradable paper (think paper towel). The exterior is pressed to encapsulate the seeds and also to maintain the rigidity and thickness needed to be a functional tag.
Our initial experience with seed tags has seen tremendous support from both new and repeat customers alike. Being our first venture outside of our manufacturing to focus on and highlight sustainability efforts, customers seem to appreciate the efforts we took to reduce our waste even further. More importantly, many sustainably minded individuals also appreciate plants and gardening, so giving them a fun project they enjoy helped develop positive sentiment (even sub-consciously) towards our brand. Lastly, rather than ending up in the trash out of sight, seed paper tags allow the customers to have a tangible, physically present reminder of your brand around at all times. How good is that?!
The most important benefit of using seed paper tags is by far ability to reduce un-necessary waste and help create a cleaner environment for all to enjoy. It is worth noting that these tags should align with your brand identity and overall mission, and if so, then implementing these into your packaging options could be a great way to work towards a greater good and win over some customers at the same time!
What can be bad about seed paper tags, right? Well not so fast. Our experience involved a few lumps along the way that should definitely be considered prior to using these product tags.
First, when sourcing your supplier of seed paper tags you want to make sure clear and concise communication is established. Our initial batch of seed paper tags that were said to be clover and chrysanthemum ended up being a completely different flower (Luckily it was beautiful regardless). Unless you already have a relationship, finding someone to verify the seed type is almost impossible. So be prepared, if there is only one certain type of flower or herb you want to include in your tags, there is a chance you may get something different.
Another issue with seed paper tags are the added cost. Although this can be a minimal increase compared to your current tags, business is all about maximizing profit margins, so before moving forward you must ensure they make sense for your business and the margins of each and every product you plan to use them with.
Lastly, be absolutely certain that the seed paper tags you choose are in fact biodegradable! If it is a new supplier, ask for a sample and test it yourself prior to ordering. If you already have a relationship with this supplier, be sure to clearly ask that these are in fact going to sprout seeds. Luckily we did not have to worry about this as our seed paper tags came from a trusted source, but we have heard of other brands receiving "seed paper tags" only to find out they were not in fact biodegradable. You definitely don't want to advertise sustainability and fall short, this can be a disaster and reflect poorly on your brand in the eyes of consumers.
Overall, there are so many unique and creative ways to distinguish yourself in today's marketplace. From a sustainability standpoint, seed paper tags are a great low cost way to add value to your brands mission and create a positive sentiment amongst consumers. Most importantly, these are just one way to help eliminate the abundant amount of unnecessary waste found throughout the apparel industry, and based on the shape of the world today, we need all the help we can get!