Hipli, the reusable packaging that’s making a hit

Posted on 02 March 2021.

To reduce e-commerce single-use packaging, a French start-up invented packaging that can be reused up to a hundred times.

A Hipli package can be reused up to a hundred times. That's 25 kg of cardboard waste avoided!

The spectacular development of e-commerce has been accompanied by an increase in the number of boxes in our trash cans. Each year, approximately 550 million e-commerce parcels are sent out, generating 137,000 metric tons of non-recycled waste in 2018. So how about innovating with reusable packages?

This is the idea of Hipli's founders, Léa Got and Anne-Sophie Raoult, who may well revolutionize e-commerce with the development of packaging that can be reused up to a hundred times thanks to a return system. And that’s 25 kg of cardboard waste avoided.

To reduce e-commerce single-use packaging, the two young women have developed an ingenious circuit. Partner e-merchants buy Hipli packages to send their products to their customers. The consumer unpacks the box and, instead of throwing it away, folds it up and slips it into the enclosed postage-paid envelope. Then it heads off not to the recycling can, but to the mailbox! The packaging arrives back in Hipli's factories where it is checked and, after any necessary refurbishment, returns to the circuit. Each parcel has an RFID chip that is scanned on departure and return.

Reducing impacts

Reducing environmental impacts is a priority for Hipli’s two founders. An analysis of the packaging life cycle proved the positive impact of their solution and helped steer them towards the most suitable materials. Their packages are made of polypropylene. This material meets the various characteristics required of packaging: flexibility, protection against humidity and UV rays, security, and tear-resistance. Not forgetting its very low weight, which facilitates returns as well as reducing its carbon footprint.

After a hundred or so uses, the end-of-life plastic packages will be recycled and transformed by two French companies (notably into upcycled furniture).
Still very new, the initiative being rolled out by Léa Got and Anne-Sophie Raoult has met with a favorable response. Since July 2020, more than eighty brands have started offering Hipli packages. And to top their early success, the start-up won an award at the Circular Fashion Trophies in October. An encouragement for their engagement for more responsible e-commerce.