AD | This post features products that have been gifted to me in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.
Have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? More to the point, have you wrapped it? Gift wrap really adds a whole additional layer (literally) of excitement and colour to any gift. The problem is that 540,000 tonnes of waste from wrapping paper and other gift-wrapping products end up in landfill after every holiday season. That is a lot of waste!
Thankfully, there are ways we can wrap gifts more sustainably to reduce our impact on the environment. I’ll be sharing various sustainable gift-wrapping ideas in this post, including using reusable fabric wraps. This brings me nicely to my featured brand for this post: Wrappr.
Wrappr is a female-founded business based in Toronto, Canada. They create beautiful fabric wraps inspired by the Japanese art of furoshiki. Their goal is to create reusable alternatives to plastic-coated, unrecyclable wrapping paper, in order to eliminate waste from gifting. Their other goal is to support artists – they team up with artists from all around the world whose unique art is featured on the wraps. The artists get a portion of every sale.
I am delighted to be collaborating with Wrappr for this post as I love all that they stand for. They have kindly gifted me two of their fabric wraps and one reusable fabric gift bag. Read on to find out what designs I received!
What wraps did I receive?
I received the Flourish Small Furoshiki Wrap and the Shine Bright Large Furoshiki Wrap, both of which you can see in my photos. I think these are both absolutely beautiful and I love the designs and bright colours. The large wrap is a really generous size – larger than I expected it to be. This is great as it can be used for wrapping large gifts.
As well as wraps, Wrappr also sells reusable fabric gift bags. I received a gorgeous purple floral design which you can see in my photos.
All three of the products I received are made of organic cotton. As well as cotton, Wrappr also makes wraps in recycled polyester, satin and silk, of which all except silk are suitable for vegans. Each material has its own character: recycled polyester is shiny and vibrant; satin is soft and shiny; cotton is soft and warm. The only disadvantage of cotton is that it creases very easily, as I found out when having several attempts to wrap a box. You will want to have an iron handy to remove the creases before wrapping a gift.
Wrappr avoids using religious or cultural artwork on any of their wraps, as this means they can be reused for any occasion at any time of year. Having said this, I think the wraps I received are very fitting for the Christmas season because of the colours used, and the holly on the larger wrap.
The artists’ names are featured prominently on all of the wraps which I think is great as it shows Wrappr are truly supporting the artists and giving them the credit they deserve.
How to use Wrappr Furoshiki wraps
Here is a simple tutorial for how to wrap a box-shaped gift using a Furoshiki wrap.
- Lie your wrap face down on a flat surface
- Place your box in the middle of the wrap, positioned diagonally so the corners point to the sides of the wrap.
- Take two opposite corners of the wrap and tie them in a double knot on top of the box.
- Take the other two corners and tie them in a double knot on top of the first knot.
That’s it! You might need to modify this technique depending on the size and shape of your gift and the size of your wrap. You can also find lots of other tutorials on the Wrappr website, for example, how to wrap a bottle, a book or a bouquet of flowers.
Here is my first attempt at using the wraps I received. Not bad, but I think I need some practice! The gift bag is obviously must easier to use as you just place the gift inside and secure it with the drawstring. This makes it a good option if you are not very dextrous!
What makes Wrappr so sustainable?
The obvious benefit of using fabric wraps is that they eliminate waste from throwaway wrapping paper. As well as being a sustainable product in itself, Wrappr also uses sustainable packaging too. Their wraps are sent in minimal packaging, consisting of cardboard and string – no plastic in sight. The shipping box is made from 100% recycled content and is fully recyclable and biodegradable. It is sealed with papery tape rather than plastic. Wrappr suggests reusing the shipping box to wrap gifts. This can be helpful for irregularly shaped gifts as you can put them in the box first and then use the method I shared above to wrap the box.
Wrappr’s slogan is, “Give art, not waste”. They perfectly embody this as you are giving a beautiful artistic item that can be kept and reused, not wrapping paper to be thrown away.
Other ways to wrap gifts sustainably
The only downside to Wrappr wraps is that they are much more expensive than ordinary wrapping paper. After all, a Wrappr is basically an extra present! Even if you make the switch, you’d likely only buy a few wraps to start with and you might have a lot of presents to wrap. With that in mind, here are some other sustainable gift-wrapping ideas.
1. Use recyclable wrapping paper or plain brown paper
Most wrapping paper is not recyclable because it contains plastic, but there are some brands that are recyclable. Look out for these, or for a more affordable option, try plain brown paper (check that it is the recyclable kind). You can decorate this with stamps, stickers or block printing, or it can look aesthetically pleasing wrapped with a coloured ribbon or string.
2. Use paper tape instead of sellotape
Using paper tape or washi tape, combined with recyclable wrapping paper means the whole lot can be recycled easily without having to peel off bits of sellotape first.
3. Minimise the size of gifts
You can fold clothing or flexible gifts to make the surface area smaller, or consider removing the outer packaging of some gifts before you wrap them. This way, you won’t need to use so much gift wrap.
4. Skip the wrapping paper altogether
Consider foregoing wrapping paper altogether and just putting the gift straight into a gift bag. These are much easier to reuse than wrapping paper as they don’t tend to get ruined so easily. You can reuse old gift bags you’ve been given, or just use a paper bag you got when shopping. This can be decorated with stamps or block printing, or left plain.
Also, remember that bottle-shaped gift bags can be reused for other gifts too. I tend to accumulate these as I sometimes get gifted bottles of wine for my job, but I rarely give drinks as gifts. I reuse these bags anyway as you can fit many other small or long gifts in them.
5. Make gift tags out of last year’s Christmas cards
Old Christmas cards are such a good source of homemade gift tags, to save you from buying new ones.
6. Save wrapping paper to reuse
Make it your mission to unwrap gifts carefully and save the wrapping paper to reuse. I think we should normalise wrapping not having to look perfect. Presentation matters more when gifting an acquaintance, but maybe you can agree within your family or close friends to reuse wrapping paper and that there’s no need for the wrapping to be in perfect condition.
7. Save up wrapping materials throughout the year
Get creative and save up materials that could be used for gift wrappings, such as newspapers, magazines, junk mail, fabric samples or offcuts, and colourful packaging from products you’ve bought.
8. Talk to others about sustainable wrapping
You can make a small impact in helping the environment by switching to sustainable options, but a much bigger dent if you share it with others. Raise awareness by talking to others about whichever sustainable wrapping options you have chosen. If you’ve gifted someone using recyclable wrapping paper, let them know they can recycle it.
You can also tell people about Wrappr. If you get lots of friends and family on board with the idea of furoshiki wraps, you could all keep gifting the same wraps back and forth between you. This way, you can all share the cost and build up a group collection of wraps over time. I think this would be lovely!
How to repurpose furoshiki wraps after the holidays
The amazing thing about Wrappr’s furoshiki wraps is that they have many other uses besides wrapping gifts. Here are some of the ways Wrappr suggests reusing the wraps after the holidays (with links to tutorials!).
You can find many more tutorials on the Wrappr website.
As a blogger, I had another idea for how to reuse the wraps. Use them as backgrounds for blog photos! I often use scarves, blankets and clothing to lay out on a surface and put things on to take photos of. These furoshiki wraps would be ideal for this purpose!
If you are gifting your wraps, it would be worth mentioning these ideas to the recipient so they know they can reuse the wrap. My wraps came with little information cards about Wrappr with links to their website and social media, so you could just pop a card in with their gift so they can check out Wrappr for themselves.
When browsing through Wrappr’s tutorials, I was amazed by the number of different ways you can use these wraps. I think you could easily justify buying them for any one of these alternative purposes, rather than to wrap gifts. The great thing is that you can use them again and again, and try lots of different things with them!
Will you be wrapping gifts sustainably this year?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about Wrappr and how to wrap gifts sustainably. I’d love to hear any more sustainable gift-wrapping ideas you have, and how you will be wrapping gifts this Christmas and beyond. It may be a little late to order furoshiki wraps in time for Christmas, but have you got any January birthdays coming up? Wrappr’s furoshiki wraps can be used all year round for so many purposes. Why not test out your furoshiki gift wrapping skills and treat someone to a Wrappr.