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Packaging for Apparel Trends Your Customers Want Right Now


Apparel packaging comes in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Businesses who are familiar with the different types of packaging available can be successful in properly packaging their products. These are the stylish packaging for apparel trends that will ensure customers are satisfied with their purchases.

Table of Contents
Why is packaging for apparel important?
Trends in apparel packaging
Choosing the right packaging for apparel

Why is packaging for apparel important?

Globally, the apparel market reached a value of nearly $527.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $842.7 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%. The market is seeing an increase in e-commerce, with the online segment forecasted to have a 25% share of total global retail sales by 2025.

3,000 billion textile garment companies are entering the market daily, making the industry highly fragmented with many small players. As a result, high-quality packaging is necessary for companies to distinguish themselves amongst competitors. Trends like a growing interest in sustainability will also influence the latest materials in apparel packaging.

Trends in apparel packaging

Plastic packaging bags

Black plastic packaging bag with zip lock closure

Plastic packaging bags are the simplest and most affordable option for apparel packaging. These types of bags are suitable for all types of clothing, including casualwear, formal attire, knitwear, and denim, but their flexible exterior may offer less protection for delicate fabrics or items with beading or appliques. 

Commonly used materials for plastic clothing bags are waterproof plastics like PE or EVA. Plastic can also be combined with other materials to form a thicker composite that feels high-end and durable. For more breathable and environmentally sustainable alternatives, non-woven fabrics that are spliced with OPP and CPP are popular.

Packaging pouches can be designed to lay flat or stand up, with transparent, frosted, or aluminized finishes. Transparent plastic bags are frequently left plain without a pattern or logo, but other plastic materials can easily be customized using gravure, offset, silk-screen, or watermark techniques. Closures can also be made from a zip lock, plastic zipper, self-adhesive seal, or snap button. 

Plastic packaging boxes

Transparent box package of male underwear for sell

Plastic packaging boxes are a sturdier alternative to plastic apparel bags. They are commonly used for items like t-shirts, underwear, or socks

While PVC is the most affordable and popular material, there will likely be a rise in demand for more eco-friendly alternatives. As a result, the industry is expected to shift towards PP and PET because those materials can be recycled and do not release as many toxins compared to other plastics.

These plastic apparel boxes often have a folding top that can come attached to a hang tab if display on a retail shelf is required. Although these apparel packaging boxes are often transparent, they can be customized with screen printing, UV printing, or hot stamping graphics that contain information or images about the product and the fashion brand.

Packaging tubes

Red packaging tube with cap lid

Packaging tubes for apparel are an appealing and unique type of packaging. They are commonly used for cotton t-shirts that are lightweight and flexible enough to be rolled up. The apparel tube’s cylindrical shape also makes it solid and sturdy enough to protect delicate garments during transport.

Apparel packaging tubes are generally made from paper or PVC plastic. PVC is a good option if waterproofing properties are desired, but eco-conscious customers who want recyclable or biodegradable packaging may seek out paper. Popular paper materials include ivory board, coated paper, or brown paper. 

The opening of the packaging tube can be created using a cap or tin lid, and the dimensions of the tube should allow garments to fit snugly when rolled or folded. The tube can also be branded with a sticker label or custom printing.

Paper packaging bags

White paper bag packaging with handles

Paper packaging is seeing a resurgence in recent years as consumers place more focus on sustainability. While plastic apparel bags are affordable and commonplace, paper packaging bags can appeal to customers who are particularly concerned about reducing their environmental footprint. 

Although paper apparel bags are lightweight, they are still designed to protect delicate fabrics and have the added benefit of looking more elegant than plastic bags. Paper apparel packaging is also a less expensive alternative for businesses who do not have the budget for higher quality options.

Kraft paper is the most popular material for paper clothing bags because it is manufactured to be stronger than regular paper. Frosted glassine bags are also gaining popularity among companies looking to go plastic-free. Glassine is a smooth and glossy FSC certified virgin paper that is compostable and curbside recyclable. Closures for paper bags can include hoop and loop, self-adhesive peel, tab lock, or tear-away strips and notches.

Paper packaging boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes with pull out drawer
Corrugated cardboard box with tissue paper

Paper packaging boxes are the type of apparel packaging that offers the most protection. They are suitable for packaging larger items like shirts, pants, or dresses

Paper apparel boxes can be made from kraft paper for a high-quality appearance and can come with a PVC window or hanger. Collapsible paper packing boxes made from corrugated cardboard are a more sophisticated option that are also versatile enough to be used as paper mailer boxes

Rigid apparel boxes are the most sophisticated and protective type of apparel packaging. Paper rigid boxes can be made from sturdy and thick cardboard in a lid and base or sliding pull-out drawer box design. They may come with satin cloth or tissue paper lining, with string handles made from cotton rope or silk ribbon. Details like satin bows or magnetic flap closures will also contribute to a high-end customer experience.

Choosing the right packaging for apparel

As the number of online shoppers worldwide expands, customers will demand packaging for apparel that protects clothing during transport and prevents damage to luxurious fabrics like silk and lace. Plastic packaging bags and boxes are among the most popular of options, but a growing cultural shift towards sustainability in the fashion industry is pushing recyclable paper packaging tubes, bags, and boxes to the forefront.

Players in the apparel industry must respond to the increasing demand for online shopping by investing in e-commerce packaging. With heavy market saturation in the men’s and women’s apparel industry, businesses who understand the different types of packaging available can be successful in standing out among the competitors.

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