• Clé the label

Sustainable wrapping - the gift that keeps on giving

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

With the Holiday period fast approaching, it has got us thinking about the amount of waste that comes with gifting our loved ones as they excitingly peel back the layers to your well thought out gift.

So we wanted to share some ideas on how you too - can cut down on wastage for all occasions.

I for one love the process of beautifully wrapping my gifts, to me it makes the giving experience so much more special, and I also love the aesthetics of pretty gifts under the Christmas tree.

So many of today’s wrapping are often coated in glitter and foil, making them non-recyclable and will most likely end up in landfill this year, which was the major inspiration for us to find ways to contribute to a less wasteful Holiday period.

So for those that are looking for the sustainable or upcycling approach, I have some last minute and environmentally conscious gift wrapping for you.


Wrapping Paper - Use natural, uncoated, non-glittery paper such as brown kraft paper or butchers paper. The same rule applies for gift boxes but if in doubt, always opt for matte over shiny finishes!

Often our new sneakers and heels arrive in great upcycling gift boxing, you could paint or keep as is and funk it up in your own way. (Sidenote: let’s not trick our recipient into thinking they’re about the open a brand new pair of Nike air max… to be greeted by an entirely different product.)

For our example, I recently purchased a beautiful perfumed body oil in the most stunning and chic packaging - so thank you Asriq for providing something so beautiful that I can now upcycle for my arts and crafts giting, as pictured below.

Whilst also on the topic of upcycling, Chip packets often end as landfill, so why not get a couple of uses out of them as most have a foil interior.

Wash the packet, dry it out and turn inside out, add some embellishments (see below), and you have some upcycled wrapping paper.

Fabric - If you’re using fabric, ribbon or string, again try to use natural options wherever possible such as linen and cotton.

There is also the old Japanese tradition of Furoshiki gift wrapping with fabric as a beautiful alternative to wrapping paper during the holiday season. Dress up your packages with squares of fabric, old silk scarfs (The recipient then has an extra little gift too), or tea towels!

Embellishments - Use natural decorations such as dried fruits. I went to the effort to dry some oranges and limes which add a nice pop color into the mix - These can then be composted or saved for another project at a later date. If you don't like the idea of fruit you could simply decorate with foliage of your choice. Go for a hunt around your neighbourhood - see what has fallen on the ground, or ask your neighbour if they would mind you taking a small cutting from their over hanging branches.

To dehydrate the orange and lime slices, I found this cheap and cheerful trick on Pinterest:

Set your oven to around 90 degrees.

  1. Slice your oranges, limes… blood oranges… grapefruit (the more colours the better)

  2. Once the fruit is cut into thin slices, try and pat as much juice out of the slices as you can.

  3. Place on a baking tray, and they will be in the oven for 3-4 hours, I went in and turned them every 30 minutes with tongs.

  4. Once they have dried out thoroughly on both sides, bring them out to cool down.

  5. You can then thread them with a needle and thread, or make small incisions with a knife to run the string through.

You can also make decorative strings using the oranges and hang them off driftwood, or store in a glass jar to use for gifting anytime.

Old newspapers or some of your old Vogue magazines are great ways to wrap or If you want to go for the cultured look, head into your local asian grocer and purchase a newspaper, it’s recyclable and again, mix and match your embellishments.

Mix and match your embellishments… dried fruit with some branches or flowers, just get your creative, sustainable juices flowing.

(All images by Renee Gartner, Copyright to Clé The Label)

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