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Olive’s Revolutionary Delivery Paradigm Is Creating A Circular Economy

by Chloe Gordon on 08/18/2021 | 5 Minute Read

There's something about receiving a box in the mail from your favorite retailer only to have excess plastics, papers, and packing peanuts to absolutely destroy your mood.

Olive is solving the packaging delivery problems through reusable packing bags that can ship multiple items. The shipping boxes are made from 100% recycled lightweight RPET woven fabric; it's durable, easy to clean, and swift to dry, producing a circular economy fit for all. Choosing a navy blue color was wise as any rough spots will be hidden in the dark hues, and the pop of light blue for Olive's logo stands out magically. Choosing to go with blue tints instead of shades of stereotypical green allows this brand to feel more trustworthy and long-lasting than just another "eco-friendly" brand on the block.


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Shopping online has been a game-changer. We can get whatever, wherever. But nothing spoils that mood like the cardboard pile at the door. Nate, Olive’s founder, realized this was both a poor customer experience and a major environmental challenge.

Olive is on a mission to reduce waste from online shopping. It starts with no cardboard in the home, and leads to end-to-end elimination of single-use packaging and a signicant reduction in last-mile emissions from household delivery. 

Brand Packaging Statement Ease meets sustainability- All Olive deliveries arrive in two-way reusable totes, so there’s nothing to throw away or recycle. We make returns easy with doorstep pickup for totes and any unwanted items. Even better, your weekly Olive delivery reduces the number of trips a mail carrier would normally make to your home, helping to reduce overall last-mile carbon emissions.

Why We Made It Olive’s revolutionary delivery paradigm relies on packaging that can ship multiple items—, keeping purchase protected and secure while being reused many times (i.e., 50+ shipments). Building on the circular economy mission, we designed our totes with recycled materials, to begin the cycle from a lower carbon footprint. The result is an innovative delivery system that delivers a consistent and elevated brand experience. 

Objective Design easy- to- understand reusable packaging that protects and ships apparel and shoes. The requirements for success include: minimal weight, size (DIM), water resistance and durability- ensuring materials are made from recycled content. Shippers must be treated with an antibacterial coating inside and out and endure cleaning + exposure to UV. There can not be any holes, grommets or catch points on the exterior. Olive’s shippers must be elevated and functional - comparable to a luxury shopping experience. 

Concept Create collapsible boxes that can be secured, can take a beating during shipping, and delights customers. Must collapse to be at for eortless storage and returns. Use durable accessory grade fabric and trim so the shippers function like luggage, not packaging. 

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Key Components This innovative shipper was created specically for Olive’s unique operations. In an eort to reduce waste wherever possible, we designed the experience holistically, considering the needs of our fulllment center, our shipping partners and the customer experience.

The shippers are made from lightweight RPET woven fabric - inside and out. It’s durable, easy to clean and quick to dry. We chose recycled materials to support a circular economy by reducing waste ending up in landlls and helping to make recycled materials common practice. Our recycled materials are created using water bottles, plastic pallets and cups.

The exterior's densely woven canvas-like fabric is tear and water resistant. It is super durable and creates a luxury reusable experience. The shippers have 2 internal pockets and a luggage- style buckle system to keep items in place. The mesh pocket on the lid is made from recycled polyester. The totes needed to be rigid, helping reduce damage to goods and allowing carriers to be stacked during delivery. We choose 100% recycled corrugated board because it is economical, lightweight, and doesn’t absorb water.

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Custom-made 2-way zippers were selected to secure the shippers closed. These innovative zippers use 100% recycled material, both for the coil and tape. The 2-way zipper opening allows for easy opening and locking. The heads can be secured together by Olive/ customers as a locking system. It also helps our team load because the lid falls open to the back during packing.

Each tote has an external tab ap that keeps the zippers protected and secured both outbound and inbound. We used hook and eye fastening for ease and speed. Shipping labels are secured to the outside of the shipper using a clear pocket that is easy to load. It ts a folded letter sheet with return labels and instructions so shipments only use 1 sheet of paper. We recycle the paper when it is returned to Olive’s fulllment center.

A custom-made tamper seal was designed so customers can have condence their package has not been opened. The tear open feature means no scissors are needed - simply twist and pull to tear open. The box can be easily collapsed and attened for eortless return. The intuitive design allows customers to simply pull up the bottom tab and the shipper folds into its collapsed position. In this state, the tab connects to the bottom of the shipper, keeping it at and clean for its trip back to Olive - taking up very little space for the return. When at the tote is 1.5” thick. 

Impact Made from recycled materials -100% recycled fabric - inside and out. RPET and recycled polyester -100% recycled corrugated board. PP board -100% recycled zipper coil/tape. RPET -100% recycled plastic locks. PP plastic No waste; we don’t use dunnage Eortless customer experience for opening, collapsing and returning 

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