How to package clothes for shipping

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The clothing industry in the UK is the world’s third-largest apparel and footwear market.

From picking new swimwear for your holiday or treating yourself to new workout clothes, the UK loves clothes – especially buying them online! A recent survey found that 41% of Brits who purchased clothing in the last 12 months did so online.

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, efficient and secure shipping is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. When it comes to packing clothes for shipping, careful planning and execution can make a significant difference in reducing transit damage, optimising shipping costs, and creating a positive unboxing experience for your customers.

This week’s blog is about learning how to package clothes for shipping. We’ll cover whether mailing bags or cardboard boxes are best for packing clothes and other popular packaging products. Plus, we’ll also be sharing our top tips for packing clothes and easy customisation options to enhance your customer experience!

packaging for online clothing retailers

What packaging is best for shipping clothes?

The best packaging for shipping clothes for your brand can differ dependent on your business.

Typically, you’ll find that most online clothing companies use mailing bags. Why? They are lightweight, easy to pack and opaque (so you can’t see inside). They also allow for different customisation options, and some are even recyclable. You’ll find both paper and plastic mailing bags, an advantage of plastic is that it’s also waterproof.

Is it better to pack clothes in boxes or mailing bags?

Whilst it isn’t uncommon for clothes to be shipped in boxes, large eCommerce retailers often use mailing bags.

However, that may not be the best fit for your brand. Whilst mailing bags are popular with companies that operate in the low to mid-range brackets, if you’re selling luxury clothing, you want to consider a premium unboxing experience for your customers.

So, as an alternative to a mailing bag, you could consider using cardboard boxes instead.

Think about customer expectations. If you’re a high-end brand, you want your packaging to embody how you want your customers to feel about your brand. This can be achieved by using printing, luxury finishes (like metallic or UV spot printing) and embellishments like tissue paper, ribbons and even note cards.

Plus, if you’re shipping pieces made from heavyweight denim or wool, cardboard boxes can provide increased product protection.

packaging for online clothing retailers

As mentioned, mailing bags are often a popular packaging product for shipping clothes, but there are lots of options available. Here are some of the top packaging materials we find customers gravitate toward for clothing:

  • Plastic mailing bags – Enhanced privacy and increased protection in a water-resistant, writable plastic pouch. The opaque design conceals the nature of the content, while the waterproof polythene also protects products from wet and dirt.
  • Mail Tuff® – These mailers are tough, lightweight, and protect your products from water and damage with their shock-resistant polyethene outer.
  • Enviroflute – An all-paper padded bag, considered an alternative to the traditional bulky padded mailers! This is constructed from FSC® paper and provides equivalent protection through a patented interior structure.
  • Paper mailing bags – These eco-friendly paper bags can be recycled and have a strip that seals them; they also have a tear strip for easy opening. Some paper mailing bags also offer a gusseted side, which expands to accommodate more products – perfect for multi-product orders.
  • Postal boxes – These boxes come in many different styles and shapes, so you’ll easily find the ideal postal box for your business. It is important to make sure your postal box is shippable, so always check they comply with delivery requirements (such as the Royal Mail Small Parcel guidelines) to make them simple to ship!
  • eCommerce boxes – These boxes come with a crash lock base which is quick to erect and fast to pack. They are strong and provide increased security with the folded flaps.
packaging for online clothing retailers

How to pack clothes for shipping

To safeguard clothing items during transit and enhance the unboxing experience, consider the following tips:

  • Choose the right packaging material for your business: Try to make sure the materials you choose protect garments from moisture, dirt, and potential wear during transit, alongside security.
  • Inner Packaging: Place clothing items inside poly bags or sealable plastic pouches to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture and dirt.
  • Padding and Cushioning: If you have large orders that include non-clothing items (like shoes or accessories), you may want to consider void fill to limit movement. This is often only applicable when using cardboard boxes, which reduces the risk of damage during transit. If you are using a mailing bag, either paper or plastic, you should be okay without cushioning.
  • Don’t forget to include any additional inserts: You may want to add a thank you note, care instruction and even return/exchange information.

Remember, a well-packaged shipment isn’t just about getting products from point A to point B; it’s an opportunity to reinforce your brand’s quality and reliability.

packaging for online clothing retailers

Custom packaging for clothing retailers

Last year, our unboxing survey revealed that 41% of consumers say branded packaging enhances their unboxing experience and encourages them to buy again.

This effect is even more exaggerated when you break it down by industry, as people buying fashion (75%) are particularly influenced by branded packaging. But what are the best ways to customise your packaging?

QUICK FACT – Customers who brought fashion were 75% more likely to re-purchase if they got branded packaging.

Custom packing tape

If you want an affordable and adaptable branding option, you could explore printed packing tape! With a minimum order quantity of just 72 rolls, it’s a great option to get you started.

It’s a low-cost opportunity to convey key messaging and show your logo, address, website or contact details – there are endless possibilities. You could even do seasonal designs for holidays such as Christmas.

You have a choice of up to 4 colours per design. You can print on both traditional plastic tape, as well as paper packing tape too.

Custom cardboard boxes

Branding your packaging allows you to interact with your customer as you would in a retail space, allowing them to take the store experience into their home and communicate through it.

Custom printed cardboard boxes are a great way to create a stylish, functional, and on-brand pack. They will consistently deliver an excellent unboxing experience that contributes to brand loyalty.

packaging for online clothing retailers

How we support online clothing retailers

From selling coats to bikinis, your range will determine which packaging product is best for you. So why not come and visit us at one of our Innovation Labs?

Our team of experts can help you find the perfect packaging solution tailored to your business! We have design, sample-making, printing, and testing equipment all under one roof to make your custom packaging come to life!

If you want personalised advice about the best packaging option for your clothing business, contact us today!