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How To Reimagine Product Packaging

Matthew Waldman of fashion-brand Nooka has been developing a fun but sustainable approach to packaging. One of a series of interviews brought to you...

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on August 4, 2012. @piers_fawkes

Matthew Waldman is the founder of the popular Nooka watch line. As Chief Designer, he not only spends his days re-considering how a watch looks, but he also reimagines how it’s served. Inspired by Heineken’s new challenge to reinvent the Draught Beer Experience, PSFK.com have interviewed change-making creatives who are constantly reinvents the world around him. We specifically reached out to Waldman because he has been developing a fun but sustainable approach to packaging, guided by his higher-principle that if the buyer isn’t going to keep the packaging, there shouldn’t be any.

What are some of the challenges when it comes to using sustainable materials?

I’d love to adapt our packaging more but we are in some ways a small company and when you want to use the latest material you find out that the folks making it sell it by the ton. The manufacturers aren’t equipped to break the product into smaller pieces for companies like us.

Also – if someone creates something special in Germany you have to consider the footprint of shipping that stuff to China where we get our stuff made.

Is sustainability something that recently developed on your agenda?

It was never off my agenda – just my marketing plan. As a nimble company we always kept our packaging to a minimal. I’m pretty anti-packaging. I felt that packaging for most products is excessive.

I’m not that old – but I do remember that we used to be able to buy stuff without packaging. You’d walk in to a store and you’d pick up a pair of scissors or a flashlight and it would have a price tag on it – and you’d take it to the counter.

I understand the need for packaging in retail – so that a store can use it to convey the value of the product. But for watches I feel it’s a wasted effort because the packaging is not something you keep.

When any designer for a brand looks at packaging, they should be thinking, ‘Am I making something the shopper will keep?’ I worry that even with our latest silicone packaging our customers are still throwing it away.

Tell us more about the new packaging. Why would a customer keep it?

It’s designed to be reused. I actually bake in mine. Re-use is something we have always been thinking of. Our early packages were like pencil cases. Designers need to discuss this topic more – but I fear it’s kept of the agenda because it’s not considered sexy.

 

Thanks Matthew! 

Check out Nooka here.

About Heineken’s Challenge To Reinvent The Draught Beer Experience

In a rather audacious move, Heineken are asking people from certain countries around the world to come up with new ideas tied to the draught beer experience. Over at the Heineken Ideas Brewery site, creative minds can offer a new vision to the drinks company.

Heineken say that draught beer is enjoyed the world-over, but it has not changed much over the years and Heineken sees the potential to take inspiration from technological advances and the development of other industries to create an exciting new era in draught beer.

Submit your new draught experience concepts at Heineken Ideas Brewery.

 

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