French startup Hipli is expanding its offer of returnable e-commerce packs with a rigid polypropylene box suitable for fragile products, and notably cosmetics.
Hipli first launched flexible bags a year ago that were adapted to the clothing sector. With its new packs, the idea remains the same: after use, the consumer returns her empty package by post to the supplier’s workshop in Le Havre, where it is cleaned before being put back into circulation. This ensures a hundred or so life cycles and offers a strong ecological advantage over a disposable cardboard box. The choice of polypropylene, says Hipli, is justified by its resistance, lightness, recyclability and because adhesive labels can be easily removed.
This latest version retains the flexible sidewalls, but with the addition of plates on the top and bottom the pack becomes partially rigid. After use, the box can be folded flat and dropped in the mailbox. If more protection is needed, additional inserts (or crosspieces) can be added and removed. Hipli can also cushion the contents with Blocbox recycled textile fiber foam. The box is secured by a zip closure and a tamper-evident seal made of a single clamp. The new pack is designed by Zebra and is produced by Plast-Up in Portugal.
The first format launched (21 x 15 x 8cm) is suited to the dimensions most used by cosmetic brands, and other sizes should follow. The box, without additional padding, costs €2.45 for the e-tailer, who can pass it on to his customers or not. Hipli's charter stipulates that it is up to customers to choose the shipping method when they place their order, as the returnable parcel solution cannot be imposed. “Some 88% of customers choose the Hipli option if it is free, and 55% if it is offered at one euro, which is a good start," says Anne-Sophie Raoult, co-founder of the company with Léa Got. “The challenge is to bring down costs, which is what we are working on with the French postal service." Now available in several European countries, the Hipli concept has been referenced by more than 180 brands. Big names in cosmetics have already placed orders for the rigid parcel, affirms the company.