Sustainability to the max.
Cooperation between Weleda and Karl Knauer
Advent calendar: Packaging expertise taken to the limit
Packing 24 products of very different sizes in a single box can present a challenge. However, the task becomes vastly more difficult when packing advent calendars with an unusual format: precision design is required to guarantee the right items await discovery behind every little calender window and ensure none of the surprises are lost in transport. Orders of this kind call for the involvement of specialists like Karl Knauer KG of Biberach. “Although we had made a lot of individual and unusual advent calendars in the past, the Weleda order was the first triangular calendar we had designed, which made it something special for us. Even the inside of the calendar was made entirely of corrugated cardboard, so we were delighted to realise this project. It gave us another chance to show that in the packaging field, cardboard makes an ideal substitute for plastic,” says Rita Schätzle, Key Account Manager at Karl Knauer, recalling the project.
Collaborating closely, Weleda and Karl Knauer designed an advent calendar resembling a stylised Christmas tree with windows on the both the front side and the rear. The next step was to incorporate 24 high quality natural cosmetic products behind the windows. A highly minimised design and a special combination coating consciously conserved the natural look and feel of the cardboard material, which dovetails neatly with the natural preference of the cosmetic producer. Once all the surprises have been uncovered, the calendar – comprising 100 percent FSC-certified cardboard – can simply be placed in a paper collection bin for recycling.
Gift boxes and miniature sets also reflect environmental considerations
As with the advent calendar, Weleda carefully considered what happens to the cardboard in its gift boxes (containing one shower gel plus one cream or lotion) once they are unpacked. The boxes were designed with a neutral line motif in order to facilitate a secondary use. Only the outer shell partly enclosing the box offers an indication of the contents and references the forthcoming Christmas period. Thanks to the neutral appearance of the boxes, they can be used after Christmas to package (birthday) gifts, or simply as a place to store things the user may wish to keep. It may well be that the recipient ends up keeping the packaging longer than the actual present (the cosmetics) – and this helps to promote Weleda’s image over the long term.
Finishing: shining outlook for the environmentally aware
“From the advent calendar to the high quality gift boxes and the miniature set, which is offered in sturdy bags made of cardboard with cute animal designs, our Christmas Edition is a uniform entity in spite of its diversity. The card we use is critical here, because it only takes one glance to see that nature is central to Weleda, even at Christmas,” explains Christine Braig of Weleda.
Environmental protection was consistently considered, not just in the design and the materials used, but also in the production and finishing process. For example, all packaging items in the Christmas series are made from renewable, fully recyclable raw materials and produced in a carbon-neutral manner by Karl Knauer. The company even created the metallic effect of the lined pattern on the gift boxes using a combination of embossing and colours, and without resorting to hot and cold foils or UV coating.
“The days when sustainable printing was limited to grey recycling paper are long gone. With the experience we have, we are able to offer customers long-lasting solutions to virtually any (finishing) request. Although this can clearly be more complex and cost more, it is an investment in our shared future as well as an environmental balance that pays dividends – as many of our customers are finding,” continues Schätzle.