Working with qualified suppliers that share the same values matters for us. We were lucky enough to reach out to Flexi-Hex®, our environmentally responsible packaging supplier, to interview them and learn more about their innovative packaging. Here are the answers they gave us!
Flexi-Hex started in early 2018 when twin brothers, Sam and Will Boex, were becoming increasingly frustrated with the visible impact that single-use plastic was having on their local and the world’s marine environment. A poor experience buying surfboards online pushed them to look at developing a sustainable alternative to bubble wrap that was 100% plastic-free, recyclable and compostable.
Our sleeves are made by joining individual bands of kraft paper together into a series of continuous hexagonal cells. By placing two thin rails of cardboard between two sheets of honeycomb, we’ve created a sleeve that is malleable and can expand and contract around the products placed within, while retaining the renowned strength that comes with the geometry of honeycomb. The sleeve is incredibly compact in its natural state to reduce storage and shipping costs, but can expand up to 250mm wide, making it incredibly adaptable to a wide range of products.
We use as much recycled content in our packaging as possible. Our sleeves are produced from over 85% recycled paper pulp. Using recycled paper has a lower carbon footprint than using virgin cardboard and each tonne of recycled paper we use can save 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water. Where we cannot use recycled materials, we use FSC certified paper which comes from sustainably managed forests, where no more wood is cut down than the forests can reproduce. Everything we do is 100% plastic-free and this is something we are extremely proud of.
At Flexi-Hex, our goal is to remove plastic from the packaging industry and raise awareness of the environmental threats facing our world. With around 17.6 billion pounds of plastic entering the ocean annually, our philosophy is focused around creating practical and innovative solutions that ultimately help reduce the amount of packaging waste ending up in marine environments. To date, we have prevented over 3,053km of plastic from being used as packaging. This is equivalent to, as the crow flies, Cornwall to Moscow!
As a proud Planet Mark member, we are committed to measuring and reducing our carbon emissions by 5% or more year on year. Where we cannot make reductions, we are offsetting and contributing to reforestation and rewilding projects with Mossy Earth, making us a proud carbon neutral business. To date, we have planted 525 native trees in Ireland which is equivalent to removing 130 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere! We have recently started the B-Corp process so this is something we will be focusing on for the next 6 months or so.
Having passed European drop tests from 1.2m and our own drop tests from 4m, we are confident in the strength of our packaging to protect fragile items help brands reduce their breakage rates to less than 1%. For example, Tinkture now have a 0% breakage rate down from approximately 10%.
Under the right conditions, the Flexi-Hex sleeve can be reused up to five times for protecting boards in transit. We’re also seeing consumers getting more and more creative with how they re-use their sleeves for alternative uses. From kids making binoculars to adults crafting decorations or using the honeycomb to grow seeds within, we’re loving seeing how Flexi-Hex can be upcycled at home.
Flexi-Hex was born out of a love for the sea and a desire to design a packaging solution that doesn’t persist in the environment and negatively impact the ocean. Our Founders, Will and Sam, grew up surfing in Cornwall and so have always been aware of the effects of ocean plastic pollution. Their passion for surfing and personal experience of transporting boards around the globe inspired them to look at packaging solutions from a new perspective, with a vision to remove plastic from the packaging industry. Having our HQ based in Cornwall, we are lucky to have the ocean and its surrounding landscape on our doorstep to enjoy during the workday. Nothing beats a lunchtime surf to swich off from work and refresh the mind for a more creative and productive afternoon!
We are very glad to work with Flexi-Hex as we are both concerned about climate change and the future of the oceans. Packaging and transport are key points of the environmental impact. Our passion for surfing brings us together around a common challenge: rethinking the way we make and package our surfboards.