There are two main ways to go with eco-friendly packaging. Choice one's the more expensive route: Make it pretty by investing in good design made with sustainable materials for an eco-luxe look. Choice two's the practically free route: Make it using what you've got — and celebrate the ugliness of upcycling.
And when it comes to online shopping, there are two eco-beauty stores that exemplify these two options. NuboNau goes with choice one, wrapping each of its eco-luxe, high-end beauty products in recycled paper and nestling everything in beautiful, recycled honeycomb protective packaging.
In contrast, Soap Hope's trying to make ugly the new eco-pretty.
Soap Hope's one store that's taking upcycling to the extreme — by celebrating just how ugly it can be. Case in point: The store ships its products in what it calls the "Ugly Box" — made by roughly cutting up and taping up used boxes. Each of these come with a label on top — explaining why the packaging's ugliness is really eco-smart.
As you may have guessed, the inventory at NuboNau and Soap Hope differ quite a bit, with the former focusing on more high-end, eco-luxe beauty brands like Strange Invisible Perfumes and John Masters Organics, , and the latter on more affordable, basic beauty products from companies like Hugo Naturals. Soap Hope also has an additional altruistic goal with a Kiva-like model. The company lends all of its profits, interest free, to a nonprofit that works to empower women — getting back the money a year later.
What type of packaging do you prefer from your eco-beauty online store? I'm more likely to opt for Soap Hope's method when shopping for myself — but to go with NuboNau's way when shopping for gifts. Do you think your order should arrive prettily packed — or do you celebrate the ugly of reuse?
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.