Packaging and Shipping Sustainability

East Fork pottery and geami.

Shipping out pots is no joke—they’re breakable, they’re bulky, they’re super heavy. And as you can imagine, there’s a lot involved with figuring out how the heck we can ship pots both efficiently and sustainably, in every definition of the word.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Use mindful materials. Our packaging is 100% curbside recyclable from our boxes and mailers to tape and wrapping.

Geami wrapped around an East Fork plate.

Geami: There’s no getting around wrapping pots—they’re fragile! Geami is a conscious alternative to bubble wrap that’s curbside recyclable, biodegradable, and sourced sustainably and responsibly. We use Geami to wrap our pottery and other fragile items in both our fulfillment center and our stores. Geami paper is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified, which ensures the wood harvested for Geami paper was done responsibly in all aspects: socially, economically, and environmentally. Take a look here to see how Geami works and see for yourself below why we (and our pets) love it so much.

Friends and pets playing with Geami!

Boxes & Tape: The boxes and tape we use are manufactured in facilities that are also FSC and SFI certified and 100% recyclable. We source them from Morrisette, a local North Carolina packing supplies company that focuses on numerous efforts to prioritize sustainability and community service. Alongside their environmentally-focused packaging, they also have a community service committee that organizes and supports efforts for (and with) their teams at 8 branches. And if you're curious about our printed paper tape, it passed Western Michigan University's OCC Equivalency testing protocol, making it the first certified recyclable carton sealing tape ever!

A family opening up an East Fork box.

Mailers: If you’re buying something smaller (like a tea towel or a bag of beans), we use 100% recycled and recyclable kraft padded mailers to ship your order. The mailers we use are padded with recycled newspapers instead of bubble wrap!

Choose the smallest box without jeopardizing the life of a pot during shipment (i.e. breaking). Don’t you hate it when you buy a book and it comes in a surfboard-sized box? Size really does matter! The smaller the box, the lower its carbon footprint.

Smaller box = less space on the truck!

Make every shipment count. Shipping with efficiency keeps from having to fix errors that are both costly to us and the environment. We strive to keep our breakage and error counts down a minimum—we currently have a .07% breakage rate and .02% incorrect shipment rate!  

Encourage conscious spending. Trying to influence consumers to make purchases sensibly is no easy feat in today’s society. Here's how we work toward that:

  • Charging for shipping: When a customer has to pay for shipping, they will normally try to bundle their order to ‘get their money’s worth’ on the shipping, and by doing so, the carbon footprint per pot is much lower than if you bought one plate or one Bitty Bowl at a time. Free shipping is also not economically sustainable without raising our prices, and we figured you’d prefer a fair-priced pot, especially if you’re purchasing in-person at one of our stores!
  • Keep returns to a minimum: Our attentive customer care team is here to help make sure you get it right the first time. They’re available via live chat on our website, in your dm’s, and emails! Our team is passionate about glaze pairings, choosing the perfect bowl for your morning oatmeal, setting up the perfect tablescape, and so much more.  
  • Refuse expedited shipping: We do not offer overnight shipping on any orders. We ship with both UPS and USPS, and we choose UPS Carbon Neutral shipping as much as possible.