Skip to main content

Sustainable Packaging - Reuse and Recycle

From day one of Gilded Bee we have always emphasised the importance of how a gift is presented.  We feel just as strongly today as we did then that the beautiful wrapping of the gift is almost as important as the gift itself. 

However, to reconcile with this, was another core value that we should operate sustainably, minimising our impact on our environment.  Marrying these two ideas has always required thoughtful development - we want our gifts to have wrapping which conveys their premium nature, which intrigues the recipient and makes them feel special whilst minimising the use of disposable materials.  

Where possible all of our gift boxes and packaging are made from recycled and recyclable materials. We never use plastic in our packaging and all of our printed cards are uncoated to make recyling them easier. We're always on the look out for new innovative more environmentally friendly ways to gift box items. 

So, just because you’ve unwrapped your gift and the wrapping is no longer needed for an item doesn’t mean it has to be the end of it’s life.  Whether you’ve been lucky enough to receive a Gilded Bee gift or something else that has come beautifully wrapped, here are some ideas to repurpose those components.

Gift Boxes

Reuse as a gift box. If the box is still in good condition use it to wrap another gift so it can go on to delight another recipient.

Household Storage. Boxes of various sizes can have endless household uses. A quick cast around my own house finds a Jo Malone candle box housing packets or spices and one of's beautiful marbled boxes storing greetings cards. These are great examples of other companies that did not ever intend their boxes to be merely packaging.

Craft Projects. If boxes are less rigid or have started to look a bit shabby then they will be appreciated as the basis of a child’s craft project.

Donate to a local school. We've been surpirsed that teachers are always willing to take on anything can be used as a craft resource.

Recycle. When finally no longer fit for any purpose ensure that these are responsibly recycled either with household waste or at a local centre.

Shredded Paper

Reuse. This is great protective material and if handled carefully can be re-used again and again.  In fact I’m delighted to have something regifted back to me using some packaging that I have gifted in the first place!

Recycle. As with the boxes,  once looking tatty and flat the shred can be recycled through your normal household channels.


Reuse. As with other elements our go-to would always be to reuse ribbon for its original purpose. In this case if you do so with the original box then the ribbon will already be perfectly cut to size - top tip, run ribbon quickly and carefully through hair straighteners to remove creases. 

Sewing Projects. Grosgrain and satin ribbon works brilliantly for various trims, bindings and drawstrings.

Donate to Schools. Finally, for unwanted pieces and shorter scraps, donate to schools or playgroups where they can always be put to good use on various artwork projects.

Gift Cards

Turn them into gift tags.  If it is a folded gift card then chop off the front picture, punch a small hole and use some of that leftover ribbon to thread them as tags, ready to add your personal message and attach to a gift.

Pop them in a frame.  Some gift card illustrations are too good to waste.  This can be a great economical way to create artwork.

Recyle. If you can't see any use for them, then put them in your recyling. 

Outer Packaging

Reuse. Whether it’s the outer box or some bubble wrap the more times it can be re-used the better.

Recycle. Once no longer fit for purpose, thoughtful disposal is particularly important with these items. Cardboard boxes can be recycled or even composted.  See this great article form the Tiny Box Company for the benefits and method of doing this.

Void fill and bubble wrap. Many of the packing ‘peanuts’ now used are made of cornstarch based material meaning that although they look like polystyrene they will easily break down. To test run one under a cold tap and if it’s cornstarch it will quickly disintegrate.  These can go out with food waste. As can most packing peanuts and bubble wrap that are tinted green as these are made from a plant based material and are biodegradable.

How do you reuse giftwrapping?  Are you that person who carefully removes sellotape and then irons wrapping paper?!? Or is it straight in the bin?

Continue the discussion and tag us @gildedbeestudio using #gildedbeereused with your ideas.  Or please make contact here.

Other Articles On The Topic Of Sustainable Gifts

Contact Form

In order to send you the best suggestions, please tell us a little bit more about what you are looking for. Information such as; who are the gifts for, why are you sending gifts, when do you need your gifts for, and what your budget is, is all very useful.
In accordance to GDPR would you like to be added to our mailing list?

Contact Us    Bespoke Gifts    Blog    Case Studies    Call 01442 732735

©Gilded Bee Ltd 2024