It’s pretty, but wasteful
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
I used to love when clothing stores would wrap my newly purchased items in tissue paper. It felt like a gift for myself and somehow justified the expensive t-shirt I bought from a high-end clothing store. Maybe it’s because now I try to be less wasteful, or if I’m being more environmentally-friendly to make up for the fact that I still eat meat. Either way, the fancy little tissue paper that I used to love has now become my greatest enemy. Yes, for the most part it is only expensive clothing and lingerie stores that tend to wrap clothes before putting them in shopping bags, but it is still a major problem.
I just don’t get it. What is the point of wrapping clothes if I already know what’s in the bag? Is the whole purpose of it in the hopes that I’ll forget about my new jacket in the bag so I get a nice surprise when I get home? I’ve had retail employees look shocked when I ask them not to wrap my new clothes, or ask for no bag at all. One of them even replied, “Really? Are you absolutely sure?” Yes, Jill, I am 100 per cent sure.
I believe that this speaks volumes about our culture. We live in a society where every bag, take-out box, and yes, clothing store wrapping paper gets a single use and then is chucked out the second we get home. The majority of these items do not get disposed of properly and end up in landfills, which eventually trickle into the ocean. If Finding Nemo was made more accurately, Dorey and Marlin would be swimming around in our plastic bags, straws, and every other item that we use once and then toss.
I have less qualms about shopping bags and take-out boxes than I do clothing store tissue paper. Everyone’s been in a situation where you completely forget your reusable shopping bag. Unless you have eight arms, there really is no way for you to be able to hold your weeks’ worth of groceries without a bag. Wrapping paper, on the other hand, is only there to be pretty.
Let’s take Victoria’s Secret as a case study. There are over 1,500 Victoria’s Secret stores worldwide, all of which wrap every single piece of underwear, lingerie, and intimate wear that is purchased. Although they use paper, which in theory should be recyclable, most of it does not get disposed of properly. Would it not be better to just do away with wrapping paper in clothing store bags all together? It’s a waste of time for employees trying to get through a huge lineup while having to perfectly wrap every item and it is bad for the environment.
If stores just stopped unnecessarily wrapping clothes, they would save more money that they waste on this wrapping paper, reduce line up wait times, and the kicker; fewer trees would die for the sake of pretty paper.