Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Roots

We pride ourselves on the fact that we pretty much invented our category: Earth-friendly Shipping Supplies.

A prototype for my first business --
not your Grandma's cloth diaper!
A wee-bit of background: before the birth of EcoEnclose, green shipping supplies were practically non-existent. I founded EcoEnclose after personally hunting for environmentally-sound packaging alternatives for years! You see this business isn’t my first venture. I kick-started my entrepreneurial career with a passion for green baby apparel. Believe it or not, my first company designed and manufactured modern baby cloth diapers. (YOU: {gasp!} ME: {chuckle!} Believe me, they are not what you think. I suggest you Google it -- these are diapers your Grandma only dreamt about!)

Anyhow, we were entirely blessed with overnight success and mailed oodles of shipments of cloth diapers every day. I celebrated our achievement, but I absolutely CRINGED at the shipping supplies we used. To reduce our company’s carbon footprint, we ensured all raw materials were painstakingly handpicked from local sources and all our manufacturing was done right here in Colorado. We even went so far as to line the entire south side of our warehouse roof with solar panels to produce our own electricity on site! I felt like everything about our process and product was as green as possible until -- duh-duh-dun – it was time to prepare the diapers for shipping. Yuck – cardboard boxes made from freshly axed trees?!? And plastic bags molded from newly extruded and refined petroleum!?! Sigh. Talk about pulling the plug on my eco-enthusiasm!

"If we can send a man to the moon,
we can develop earth-friendly shipping supplies!"

Every month that went by, I recoiled at the necessary task of replenishing our shipping room. Before restocking, I optimistically and tirelessly went on the hunt for something better. Each time I had the same disheartening result to my quest:  NADA. The same reply came back from the big packaging companies, “It’s not possible to create quality recycled packaging.” Wah, wah, wah. I remained undeterred and was unrelenting in my search. I repeatedly thought to myself, “How is it possible that we can send a man to the moon, yet eco-friendly shipping supplies remain in the ‘impossible’ list!?!” Ugh.

Fast forward and fate led me to step away from the diaper business. Thankfully, my son is happy and healthy today, but my poor baby boy had some serious health struggles during his first five years. And I was battling to find balance between business demands and the needs of my family. Lack of sleep at night and the intensity of my days started to take its toll on my health, as well. I sold the business and took a two year sabbatical from the entrepreneurial side of my being and concentrated my focus on recovery.

Lifting the overhead door to our Colorado warehouse.
When life settled down and I was ready to reawaken my entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to set out to crack that one ‘unsolvable’ quandary I had with the diaper business. I had looked high and low and asked all those in the know for earth-friendly shipping supplies, but no one could deliver. {drum roll} Ta-da! Meet EcoEnclose. Born out of my desire to be that solution for you! I hope you were searching for us the way that I was seeking out us several years back. Only, instead of coming up blank and dejected, you INSTANTLY found us! Hooray! Seriously…I am so glad we could check that “Find Eco-Shipping Supplies” box for you.

Please know that we are always here for you, in all our crunchy nerdiness--and in a constant state of intense eagerness--to share our exciting and uniquely green shipping solutions with you! In exchange, please share our existence with the companies you do business with. Let them know that alternatives to standard shipping products have arrived!

Yep – {insert dusting of hands here} -- what was once deemed ‘impossible’ can now be put in the ATTAINED column, right next to ‘space travel’. Well…ok…maybe a few rows down from ‘space travel’.

Happy shipping!
Erin Kimmett
Lead Eco-Geek

Operations Director, Dave, commutes to work each day by bike to reduce his carbon footprint.


  1. Indeed, this is how we found you. We are out of Seattle and hand make materials for Montessori teachers We just just hate sending our materials in packaging that is coming from virgin material and then just going to the landfill. We try recycle used padding materials whenever possible but the cartons are the problem. Thank you for offering a solution for us.
    Marshall Balick
    Montessori 123

    1. Thank you for sharing your story of how and why you found us. Oodles of success to you!

  2. We love using your packaging to ship out our modern cloth diapers too! Thanks for making a quality, affordable product!

    1. Oh my -- You've got some adorable prints! All the best to you =)

  3. I love your products and am so happy I found you! Not only was I not able to find the size I needed for my prints elsewhere, the boxes I had to settle for were way more expensive and certainly not eco friendly. Thanks for offering such fabulous products!

    1. Music to my ears. I am so glad to hear that we had an affordable, eco-solution for you. Thank you!

  4. I am an attorney, and I try to reduce my paper use as much as possible (I use 100% post consumer copy paper and letterhead, as well as your wonderful mailing supplies), and only print what I need to. I am proud to use your eco-friendly products as a part of my commitment to reducing my footprint on nature.

    1. It is not just product-based businesses going green with their packaging. Kudos!

  5. This is great! Thanks for the story behind the story! :)