Sustainably Shop & Wrap Holiday Gifts with GoodBuy Gear x Wrappily

If you're considering making the switch to thrift this holiday season, you're not alone. In fact, 77% of American adults expect to buy at least one secondhand item this year, according to a recent Mercari study

That's why we're partnering with Wrappily so parents can not only shop previously loved gifts, but also make them look and feel just as special as unboxing a brand new item.

We sat down with the Wrappily founder, Sara Smith, to learn more about how they help parents wrap gifts beautifully and sustainably. 

Baby with sustainable wrapping paper

What makes Wrappily different from other wrapping paper brands?

Most wrapping papers you find in the store are coated in glossy plastics or contain non-paper additives making them impossible to recycle. Wrappily is 100% plastic-free and can be recycled or composted just like your daily newspaper. Over the years, we’ve also added compostable gift ribbons and sustainable gift tags to fulfill all your eco-friendly gift wrapping needs. 

Here’s a more in-depth look at everything you should know about Wrappily

What are the benefits of shopping and gifting eco-friendly presents?

At its core, gifting is an act based on thoughtfulness; gifting eco-friendly takes that thoughtfulness to a global scale. For many, ending a gift experience or party by sending a pile of trash (excess packaging, wasted gift wrap, etc) to the landfill casts a shadow on the joy of the celebration. Being mindfully eco-conscious from the beginning helps close the loop on what should be a feel-good moment. By giving eco-friendly presents, you’re putting extra thought into the gift from start to finish and leaving a positive lasting impression for the recipient (and our environment).

Have you noticed any negative stigmas around eco-friendly/secondhand gifts?

Sustainable wrapping paper

On the contrary, vintage or secondhand items can be better quality and last longer than new plastic products that break easily. Finding the perfect thrifted gift requires a lot more thought and intention because it’s not as easy as typing a search word in and selecting a color/size. Secondhand gifts are very personal. Similar to handmade gifts, shopping secondhand is a sign that you know the recipient and what they like really well. They don’t say “it’s the thought that counts” for no reason so as long as you are expressing your love and care, most people appreciate the sentiment.

Speaking of stigmas, some would argue it’s not as special to receive secondhand gifts if they don’t have their original packaging and tags. Do you have any tips for making secondhand gifts just as exciting to receive and open?

When given a gift, we receive it first with our eyes. It's proven that positive first impressions lead to a greater sense of satisfaction, so it's no mystery why a gift wrapped with attention and care would instinctively elicit a warmer response, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. 

Why not lean into the lack of original packaging by creating an unexpected or totally customized presentation--roll it into a different shape or disguise it in an odd shaped box or vessel. A gift, no matter what it is, just thrown in a bag without much thought is a lackluster experience.

Giving a secondhand or thrifted gift gives something special to the recipient and the planet at the same time. Still, there are a few things you can do to make sure your loved ones feel the love and thoughtful sentiment behind your thrifted gifts:

  • Ensure the Item is Clean & Functional: Test the item to make sure it works properly and give it a good cleaning to make it like-new. The benefit of buying secondhand is the gift is already open. Take the extra steps to make using your gift as easy as possible so the recipient doesn’t have to assemble anything. If it’s an electronic item make sure to charge it before wrapping and include batteries if necessary.
  • Mend & Customize: If it has some scuffs or flaws, take the time to touch-up any imperfections. Get inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, mending broken pottery with gold or silver to embrace the flaws and make them beautiful. This idea works great for fabrics too! If you can’t find a perfect color match, mend it with a pretty pattern or the recipient’s favorite color. Take it up a notch by adding a personal touch with something like personalized engraving or embroidery (who wouldn’t love a hidden message sewn in their sweater?)
  • Add Your Own Tag: While the original store tag may be gone, you can still add a cute gift tag of your own with a personal note about why you chose to give this item. Maybe it has sentimental value or is a discontinued item that can’t be found in stores anymore. A gift tag or thoughtful card can help explain why this secondhand gift is the perfect fit and add value above a generic price tag
  • Beautiful Gift Wrapping: Before the recipient has unwrapped the gift, the quality of your wrapping has already made an impression. Delight-at-first sight gift wrapping can actually elevate both the item given and your recipient's level of appreciation for your gift. We dive deeper into this formula to make a great first impression and totally win at gift wrapping on our blog

What gifts and wrapping papers are you looking forward to gifting among friends and family this year?

We are so excited about our new holiday releases, especially the new Peace on Earth patterns designed by Meera Lee Patel. They are the perfect soft minimalist vibe for my friends’ gifts. Even though no one on our team personally celebrates Hanukkah, our latest Hanukkah Doves pattern is one of our favorite designs of the season and we’re looking forward to giving our Jewish friends gifts that aren’t just blue and white.

We aren’t supposed to pick favorites, but our team has a soft spot for long-time friend and designer Nadia Hassan. Her Festive Holiday Eco Gift Wrap Bundle captures all the playfulness and fun we try to give loved ones during this time of year and we’re looking forward to using her Upcycled Treasures Gift Topper Kit to borrow some of her creative eye for repurposing found items to top off gifts this year.  

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