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Case

Re-bag:
Sustainable Packaging in All Forms

In joining our project Future Now, Re-bag, the small yet multinational Danish company, has achieved several new results that enhance its mission of greater sustainability and complete product transparency

The Results: Full transparency and recyclability

During the three-month Future Now program, the people behind Re-bag have been working intensively with new experimental approaches that provide new tools and methods. As a result, Re-bag, which specializes in reusable and recyclable packaging solutions, has already achieved tangible results ensuring transparency and greater recycling of materials:

  • A product movie about the lifecycle of the bags: The movie explains the life cycle of a bag and helps customers make more sustainable choices
  • New labeling systems to recycle parts correctly: Clear icons indicate how Re-bags should be sorted
  • A new material library: The library helps Re-bag’s customers choose material based on parameters such as sustainability, certifications, etc.

"We wanted to tell our customers how and under what conditions their bag was made, as well as what environmental impact it had. And of course, to help them make some more sustainable choices"

Mette Vinding

CSR and Marketing Manager, Re-bag

re-bag

Mette from Re-bag

Re-bag is also currently working to renew their life cycle assessment of their products, which refers to the impact a product has on the environment throughout its entire life cycle. 

As part of their commitment and goal to become a company that adheres to the 17 UN global goals, the next big step for Re-bag is to move their production out of China. This process has already started, and thus, Re-bag is looking for new suppliers around the world who can produce similar products, perhaps even better and much closer to the Danish markets.

“We want to leave China. Because our basic outlook, as an individual but also as a company, is that we cannot support the Chinese government’s practices regarding people, the environment, and control in general,” explains Mette Vinding, CSR and Marketing Manager at Re-Bag.

The Challenge: Exiting China – A challenging task

Re-bag has been searching for manufacturers in India, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Eastern countries to determine if they can take over the production.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the company must find someone who can perform at a minimum the same functions as their suppliers in China, but with better conditions.   

Leaving China is unavoidably a challenging process, and economic factors play a large role in the search for new and more local suppliers. 

“It’s really difficult. When we discover a potential new supplier, it’s always a question of whether the customers are willing to pay the price? Despite our desire to move out of China, we may have to move the factory to a place that costs more, and, as a result, our business will suffer since some of our customers are not willing to pay the price,” Mette Vinding continues. 

This was Re-bag’s experience before the Corona pandemic when they formed a new partnership with the Danish cleantech company Plastix that resulted in a new type of bag made from recycled fishing nets. Overall, a successful collaboration with a local European manufacturer, but no one was willing to pay the price.

The company’s participation in the Future Now program has made it imperative to find new manufacturers capable of offering the same prices that the company’s customers are willing to pay. Because right now, Re-bag is facing a consumer barrier, namely the unwillingness of customers to spend that amount of money on a product even though everyone knows it’s sustainable and the most climate-friendly thing to do. To overcome that barrier: 

"It requires a common understanding of the value of how important this is because otherwise, it will not happen"

Mette Vinding

CSR and Marketing Manager, Re-bag

The Approach: A new take on the future

Although moving out of China remains a challenge, participating in the program has been a great benefit to Re-bag, as they often do not have the time or resources to pull staff and develop new projects.

The Future Now process is specifically designed to give the participating companies the tools to see the future in a new light. Among the many tools offered during the process, scenario-based design and the SDG Value Scan tool have proved to be very useful to Re-bag. These particular tools have enabled the company to come up with new ways of taking action as well as discovering their impacts on society and the environment.

Implementing the tools has also given Re-bag a new perspective on its projects and business activities.

“We’ve got a new approach to our projects. There has been progressing on some projects that we may have known existed. Projects that were not defined and were not taken care of. Regardless, it’s helped us move forward. It has even helped us get more business done, says Mette Vinding about participating in the three-month program. The program included three workshops as well as sessions with an appointed mentor and a lot of prototyping.

Through the program, Re-bag focused on: 

  • Achieving 100 % transparency on all products and their life cycle
  • Becoming an SDG company 
  • Developing a strategy to move production out of China

The common aspect of all the focus areas is that Re-bag, after participating in the program, approaches their projects differently. One of the main benefits for them is the improvement in collaboration, leading to more effective outcomes across the organization. Ultimately, this helps to achieve the company’s core objectives of minimizing its impact on the climate and the environment and ensuring appropriate working conditions in the manufacture of its products.

You can check out some similar future scenarios here.

The Future Now project was a collaboration with DI – Dansk Industri and Industriens Fond that ran from fall 2020 to fall 2021.

About Re-bag

Re-bag designs and manufactures packaging, working primarily with reusable and recyclable packaging. As experts in design, materials, and certifications, they advise their customers about the most suitable packaging solution.

Number of employees: 8
Founded: 1999

Gry Brostrøm

Senior Project Manager

Mail gry@ddc.dk
Phone +45 3115 8670
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