Daniel and I make watches, we really enjoy that and we are focused on making great watches that will last. They will give decades of service to their owners provided they are maintained with a modicum of care.
But there is another side to our world, where we all use a lot of resources for short term use. To make matters worse in many cases the cheapest materials to use are those that will do the most long term damage to the environment. In particular a huge amount of packing and shipping material is made out of plastic and it is most likely to be used only one single time.
Daniel and I thought that this was a terrible waste. In many previous companies we had seen how so much plastic was being used in single use situations. We both felt that it was extremely important to ensure that SNGLRTY was as thoughtful about the resources we use as we are about how we #seetimedifferently.
The biggest area of impact was how we protect our watches from Switzerland to our customers’ door steps. All the solutions we were being offered included expanded polyurethane, plastic covers and bubble wrap. Not the solution we were willing to accept.
The Environmental Factor
Our goal is to have the lowest impact on the earth as we possible can. A bit like that simple goal we set ourselves when we set out to create SNGLRTY, “it had to be different,” that goal is simple to understand but that does not mean it is easy to achieve.
The desire to be frugal with the worlds resources is another reason why we only make watches to order, that way we do not waste anything (and our owners will never see a big discount to clear stock!). The solution to our challenge with the shipping packaging is one of our smaller achievements that we are particularly proud of. It took us a long time to achieve our goal and throughout the process we had many people suggesting the plastic route. It would have been very easy for us to succumb to the easy and expedient solution rather than the correct solution. You will be pleased to know that we persevered.
Just like our watch we are proud of this little bit of ingenuity which is more for our peace of mind than our customers’ benefit – but hopefully they appreciate our efforts. We thought we would share the details so when your watch arrives on your doorstep your can pause a moment and maybe appreciate the packaging – just a little bit.
The Process Of Making The Box
So let us start at the beginning. Your beautiful SNGLRTY watch, that has been assembled according to your specification and sporting its own unique serial number is placed on a roll and then secured in a leather travel case. This case can be used for years to come as you travel. Once inside the leather travel case your watch has a safe home.
The watch is safe in the travel case. Now the challenge is to protect the leather travel case as it is sent through the shipping channel. We start by packaging the roll in an inner protective cover of a black carboard box. This has been designed so that it is made from a single piece of cardboard. It is held together with a single line of glue, the rest of the box is held together with some clever folding and a few strategically placed locking tabs. The leather travel case with the watch inside is placed into the protective packaging where it sits nice and snug.
Internal Suspension System
The next challenge is to protect your very valuable watch so that it turns up in perfect condition after passing through the courier service. Daniel and I designed this wonderful holding mechanism that consists of four separate pieces – two end protectors and two sleeve protectors. Each of these comes flat (saves shipping and storage costs) and is folded easily (check out the video above).
Again, each of the end protectors and the sleeve protectors are folded and held together with tabs. We use no glue and no plastic in each of these packing components. All these pieces are made from recycled paper and are recyclable once the watch has been delivered. Next is to fold up what we call the end protectors. These just fold around and the tab slides in and creates little boxes.
Now we assemble the suspension system that will fit within the shipping box. The black box fits into the sleeve protectors, the end protectors fill the gap left and ensures the black box does is held firmly. It’s all in place now.
Now Keep The Courier Happy
The final piece is to create the shipping outer, one last cardboard box. This folds out as you would expect a cardboard box. Unfortunately I need to confess that we use plastic tape on the top and the bottom of this box which holds it together. We then take the assembled insert and it slides into the outer box very easily. Your watch has a lovely little cocoon which keeps it protected the whole way until it gets shipped to you. It took us a long time to design and create this so that your watch is shipped to you in packaging that is as environmentally friendly as we can possibly make.
We are still working on the tape on the outer box though and if you buy your very own SNGLRTY watch you will find out if we have succeeded or not then. We had a lot of fun making the packaging and challenging ourselves to try and ensure we have a thoughtful approach to our use of these precious resources.
You can be assured we continue to approach everything we do in this manner. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments please do leave us a message below and if you want to ask us Daniel or I anything please just sign up to one of our webinars and we will be delighted to answer your questions.