A reusable and award-winning packaging solution for kayaking paddles
Melker of Sweden is an outdoor company aiming to be the best in sustainability. The design collaboration with Stora Enso to develop a packaging for their new paddle was successful in more than one way. The turnout is a renewable corrugated box, a wall hanger, a storyteller and an awarded design – free from fossil plastic.
“We used to pack our paddles in bubblewrap and tape, which doesn’t suit us at all. We aim to be the best in sustainability within outdoor and we always search for new environmentally friendly materials to use in our products. So of course, we also want to minimise plastic in our packaging,” says Emil Gyllenberg, COO at Melker of Sweden.
Melker of Sweden is an outdoor company selling kayaks, paddles, outdoor equipment and clothes. The company has a bold ambition to completely game change the outdoor hardware industry and has been a member of Paper Province since 2019.
“We want to make a real difference. Making the best products is crucial for saving the planet,” says the company founder, Pelle Stafshede.
In 2021 they launched a new kayaking paddle and needed a packaging for it, a packaging free from fossil plastic.
“There was no good or sustainable way of packing paddles before this. We wanted to find a better solution. We also wanted something fun with a nice design. The box should be an experience too, in line with the product we sell,” Emil continues.
Making a box that is also a wall hanger and a storyteller
Together with Stora Enso Packaging Solutions’ design team they collaborated in workshops. Melker of Sweden needed a sustainable and resistant packaging that would protect the fragile paddles. Also, they asked the design team for a “second life feature”.
“They were very interested in reusability and did not want the box to be recycled or thrown away directly after unpacking, which is why they asked us to build in a feature for the box to have a second life,” says Ģirts Derums, design project manager.
After many ideas, the result was a corrugated box that can also be used as a wall hanger for your paddles. A part of the box can be taken out and mounted on the wall to store the paddles when they are not being used. Since corrugated board is a stiff material, this works perfectly. The part that is not mounted on the wall can be recycled in paper recycling.
While the Stora Enso team delivered the packaging design, Melker of Sweden provided the artwork for the inside of the box. It consists of photos from kayaking adventures and short snippets of their outdoor stories, or “Melker moments”. “The comments we have got from customers about the packaging is that it ‘truly feels like us.’ I think it proofs that the design collaboration was great.” Emil concludes.
Great collaboration and new materials get awarded
The design team also made another version of the packaging for the paddles, trying the new material Papira® by Stora Enso. Papira®, that is not yet on the market, is a wood foam that is completely bio-based, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable in ordinary paper recycling. In this version of the box, Papira® wood foam inserts were added to reduce packing time and give extra protection for the paddles. In September 2021, this version received the The Gold Award for the most outstanding and innovative packaging in Fachpack, the German packaging awardcontest, in the New Materials category.