What are Sinamay, Abaca & Cacao Used for in Sustainable Retail Packaging?

August 16, 2010

in eco-friendly packaging, sustainability, trends

Cacao fruit with leavesAny time we reuse or recycle a product we are keeping trash out of landfills and helping to protect our earth. Another way to be a good steward of our beautiful planet is to use plant material that can be renewed. All the products from our Distant Village Collection are handcrafted from renewable natural materials.

The top photo shows what Cacao leaves look like before they are dried and mixed with paper pulp for our wild grass and cacao window boxes. Since the Cacao fruit is also the source of chocolate, we can’t think of a better material for a chocolate box!

You may have heard of Sinamay, but did you know it comes from Abaca, the same plant that rope is often made from? The Abaca plant is a member of the banana family, native to the Philippines. It looks a bit like horse tails (left), but this great stuff can be woven into fabric which is tinted, starched or sized and made into ribbons and bags or even ropes used in mooring and towing huge ships. Quite a transformation, from banana tree husks to eco-friendly packaging.

We all know how delicious fresh coconut is, but have you ever thought of carving the shells? The craftsmen of Distant Village carve beautiful objects from coconut shells (below). They also dry the leaves of the banana tree, crush them up and make handmade paper (see Banana Paper Bags below).

Coconut shell accessorybanana paper bags

When I was a little girl we had a Mulberry tree in our front yard. It had large fuzzy leaves and thumb-sized fruit in the summer that looked a lot like blackberries. I liked to eat the fruit and play in its shade. This same tree’s leaves are used to make our Mulberry giftwraps and tissue papers. These papers are great for craft projects and scrapbooks.

Let’s not forget raffia – the natural kind. It’s great for supporting items in gift presentations and shipping. I even use it to tie up plants in my garden. When it has served its purpose I just toss it in the compost. Raffia comes from the fronds of the raffia palm. Natural Raffia

We are so happy to offer these natural products to you. Not only are they eco-friendly and sustainable, but beautiful and useful as well.

Kathy Green
Packaging Consultant


Kathy works with the Nashville Wraps’ Marketing Team as a packaging consultant and photo stylist. She is also a Master Gardener and enjoys her greenhouse and garden, three spoiled dogs, hubby and grandkids in her spare time. She also loves any kind of craft and spends rainy days in the art studio she shares with her creative husband, Bill.

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Valerie Peli August 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I think the Distant Village collection is beautiful! Fascinating that we have so many natural products that create such wonderful things but the majority of companies rely on products that are so harmful.

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