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When it comes to leathercrafting projects, we wrote the book on it for DK Publishing!

Original, unique designs to help with lifting and carrying your bicycle

Stunning handcrafted bicycle bags carry the essentials and turn heads!

Best-selling "commuter essentials" for making the daily commute easier

Lifetime leather bar wraps in five styles for every type of handlebar and bicycle

Our best-selling Original Travel Cribbage Boards has fans worldwide

Unique travel-sized classic games: dice, dominoes, cribbage

Free hand-drawn printable scoresheets, rules of play & puzzles

One-of-a-kind cribbage boards: driftwood, leather, and even a belt

Leather handles in 8 styles, 4 leather colors, and 3 metal finishes

Strong yet soft, durable and sustainable, no-bumps and no-bruises

Add a label to handles and pulls for superior organization

Flexible but sturdy, creative solutions to tricky problem corners

How We Use Up-Cycled Packaging with Care

A hand crumpling used label paper backing and placing it in a bin of crumpled paper for re-use as void fill in shipping boxes

Here at Walnut Studiolo, it’s important to our sustainability values to minimize our carbon footprint. As in all our sustainability decisions, we go for reduce and re-use first.

When we receive our own purchases, we re-purpose their shipping materials for customer packages going back out rather than recycling or landfilling. Over 10+ years of doing this and some helpful feedback from our customers, we’ve learned some lessons along the way.

Here’s how we re-use packaging without offending customers – and sometimes even impressing them!

  1. Create a re-used material filing system. We use bins and large boxes and bags to sort like materials together for quicker and more consistent shipping. Materials have to be clean: anything with dirt, stains, or smells hurts the cause more than it helps. The waxed paper backing of stickers and labels sheets makes particularly good void fill when hand-crumpled into balls.
    Re-used cardboard boxes labeled with their three dimension sizes, folded flat, and stacked on a shelf for easy categorization Three bins for sorting re-used and up-cycled shipping materials into a library, one for void fill, one for bubble wrap, and one for air packs  A hand crumpling used label paper backing and placing it in a bin of crumpled paper for re-use as void fill in shipping boxes 

  2. Wrap orders like a gift. It's the act of opening a carefully-wrapped package that creates delight and shows care and pride, not the materials themselves. This is one area where small businesses really stand out: most shipments look like they were thrown together carelessly in a warehouse in milliseconds.

    For example, we take our dyed paper from the leather workshop, newspaper, or crumpled paper void fill, smooth it out simply with our hands, cut into manageable pieces, and stack on our workbench. (The crumpled paper actually even makes better cushioning during transit than fresh paper! It mimics the texture in bubble wrap and paper alternatives.)

    Then when we do shipping, we wrap the items and the receipts together along with a handwritten note, and seal the paper with a small sticker. We even take the extra step of folding back the rough or torn edges.
    Used paper void fill from a received order being re-wrapped as a gift for a future customer order A hand folding the rough edge of a torn piece of upcycled paper while wrapping up an order like a gift Thick kraft paper used as workshop dye paper backdrop, re-packaged for re-use in a customer order

  3. Make sure it’s ship-shape. Particularly with re-used boxes and mailers, make sure there is no personal identifying information, barcodes, addresses, or other information visible that will confuse shipping carriers. We remove the labels when they come off easily, but more times than not, it’s more work than it’s worth! Instead, we use kraft paper tape, an extra-wide “magnum” permanent marker, and/or kraft address label blocker stickers to make quick work of old shipping labels.

    We turn poly mailers inside out for a clean, unmarked gray surface with no logos. Kraft labels and tape also cover up previous company logos or postal worker notes quickly for a clean-looking package again. If this material isn’t covered up, it could accidentally re-route the package!
    A re-used box with previous handwriting and corporate logos on it covered up with kraft paper tape to look like a clean box Covering up a shipping label on a box with a kraft paper label blocker sticker

  4. Warn and inform. We put a series of stickers, labels, and educational notes throughout our packaging experience to let customers know we take up-cycling and plastic-free packaging seriously. That way, there are no surprises when a customer opens a box to find their order packaged in crumpled paper! This is also a great way to draw attention to our sustainability values.
    An outgoing mailer with a hand-written sticker from Walnut Studiolo on it saying this was packaged up with care using upcycled or plastic-free packaging

We don’t save much money with our upcycled packaging program, and it does add a little bit of time, but we do get to live our lives and run our business in accordance with our values. We believe that’s something that our customers appreciate, too!

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