Localised from Auckland to Christchurch: Tailor’s Box Supply Chain

Localised from Auckland to Christchurch: Tailor’s Box Supply Chain

We know sustainability is a journey, not a destination, and we’re on it (cheesy alert, but true). We told you we’re multi-purpose and this isn’t just confined to our range, it extends to our core value of being an enviro-conscious brand. Our box supply chain is just one example of our enviro-conscious practices. Now we have the introduction out of the way, let’s break down our box supply chain from designing to recycling / composting. 

Tailor Skincare's locally made product packaging

Stage 1: Designing 

The first stage in our box supply chain starts in Wellington with our in-house Graphic Designer, Kaity. She will get to the drawing board to create the design of our boxes, customising each box to each product. But we wouldn’t be Tailor without a list of musts to tick off. We need to think of functionality (box net and size).  Our boxes are measured to fit each product size, to ensure the finished product doesn’t move around during transit causing breakages. As well as this, these carton measurements for each product reflects only the necessary amount of cardboard required to fit the size of our products and nothing more. We are proud of our enviro-conscious core value and want this to be reflected each step of the way. Another factor to consider on our list is to colour match the product colour to match the carton colour, to ensure it aligns. The last main factor to consider is the need to know info to include on our carton, which includes product info, brand info, and credentials. Because, we’re minimal and practical. You could call it a labour of love and care, right from the design, for our Tailors. 

Stage 2: Sourcing raw materials

Switch from FSC card to ‘Well Managed Forests’

This stage is pretty low maintenance for us, as we don’t require many raw materials. The key raw material being our card for our boxes, a pretty crucial step. But lucky for us, our fabulous supplier Blue Star, based in Petone, Wellington, gave us a hand here. Up until Covid-19, we’d been outsourcing FSC card internationally (FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council who sustainably manage forests). This was the most sustainable packaging option available to us. However, once Covid-19 hit, like a lot of other businesses, this supply chain was impacted resulting in extremely long lead-times and huge price increases mainly attributing to freight. At this time our Operations Manager, Stacey, reviewed all our supply chains and proactively reached out to existing and new suppliers to mitigate chances of delays that would mean we would have to go out of stock (not ideal). What did come out of this was due to NZ being cut off to large suppliers overseas, there began talk of the Whakatane Paper Mill reopening to service the demand by NZ suppliers. We stayed in the loop on this and as soon as we got the word, we were waiting to knock on their door for card stock. The quality wasn’t the same because the Whakatane Paper Mill only offered a 1 sided white board, with a natural brown on the other side (inside of the box), whereas the FSC was white on both sides (typical for cosmetic board). But for us, it was more important to source our card sustainably, rather than making sure it looked extra pretty. However, as the Whakatane Paper Mill has grown, they’ve opened their offerings in cardboard to provide this 2 sided white board, which we will be going forward with. 

Reduction in carbon emissions

To be able to make this switch and localise our box supply chain was an absolute no brainer for us, I tell you, we couldn’t hit go on this packaging switch fast enough. This meant we could localise our full box supply chain to NZ, in turn reducing our carbon emissions. We didn't need to import the card internationally, and instead it remained local, traveling from Whakatane to Petone, Petone to Christchurch and Christchurch to Auckland. This was a huge win for Tailor’s enviro-conscious brand value. 

Slowly phasing out FSC card

Remember, we don’t do waste around here, so we are in the process of slowly phasing out our old FSC card which we still have, before production runs on the NZ supplied stock. This is why you might still be receiving the FSC card as the packaging for some of your Tailor products. Don’t worry, this card type has its credentials (long list of musts, remember). This new card is ‘well managed forest’ certified, which is a big Tailor tick for our enviro-conscious brand value. You can find both credentials on the bottom of the box. 

Locally made boxes produced in New Zealand

Step 3: Producing our compostable and reusable boxes

This stage is based in Petone, Wellington with our supplier Blue Star. They source our new compostable and recyclable cardboard from the Whakatane Paper Mill, print our cardboard with vegetable inks (recyclable and compostable friendly, yes please) and get them cut down and ready to be made into boxes. Did you know our boxes aren’t coated with a plastic film? Most cosmetic boxes wouldn’t be able to say the same, so maybe keep an eye out here. Some brands will add a plastic film to ensure the box can’t be damaged easily (dents or marks). They will also make a claim that it can be recycled, when it actually can’t as its two materials combined. It also can be very tricky to tell, one way is tearing the box to see if there is separation of the film. Another quality check in our box supply chain is to ensure that colour match aligns with the product itself. When working with more than one supplier for each component the variation of colour occurs, so this step allows us to ensure the tube / bottle / jar matches its box as close as possible. This is Stacey’s job, and she is based in Wellington so can easily visit the factory in Petone to perform the quality check. Because, we go above and beyond to make sure you’re receiving only the best - aka this is exhibit A. 

Step 4: Online store / retail 

Once our boxes have been packaged with our bottles and tubes by our manufacturer in Christchurch, they are sent to our warehouse in Auckland where they are distributed to our online store customers and retailers. As our boxes are measured to fit our bottles and tubes perfectly, this ensures all products don’t move around during their journey to our online store and retailers, allowing for a smooth transit. The main reason Kaity designs our boxes with all the need to know info, is for anyone visiting in-store at one of our retailers, where they can be educated on the info they require about our products and our brand. 

Step 5: Customer / tailored to their preference (compostable & recyclable) 

The last step of our box supply chain, our customer’s. This is a full circle moment as our customers purchase our products in their boxes. Once our customers are ready to dispose of our boxes, which have been tailored to their preferences. They can either choose whether they would like to recycle them with their other recycling, giving them a new lease of life and extending their life cycle, or if they have an at-home compost where they can tear their Tailor boxes and put them in to decompose. It’s our customer’s choice and we encourage them to do it their way.

I know what you’re about to say. We love to talk, which is true. But, I’m wrapping us up now. This milestone of being able to source our card sustainably by localising our box supply chain to NZ has only been able to happen because we’re agile. We are able to make decisions quickly and  implement changes swiftly, as the market space grows and advances the offerings available. Sustainability, we’re on this journey, but haven’t arrived at this destination, and likely we never will - because there will always be more you can do here and we’ll be forever chasing this!

Now, if you want to see all of this for yourself, and the range of boxes. Visit our range here

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