Is reusable packaging the sustainable solution for online fashion?

Four Commercial Economics students from Zuyd University worked for 10 weeks on a strategic marketing plan for Moonen Packaging, the innovative packaging specialist from Weert. Their research goal? Gaining insight into the wishes and needs of online fashion SMEs within the Netherlands and Belgium with regard to innovative sustainable packaging.

Packaging specialist Moonen Packaging from Weert celebrated its 65th anniversary in the Covid year 2020. The company was founded in 1955 and has since grown into an international player in the field of packaging and disposables. Within the framework of, they worked together with students from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, whereby a clear problem statement was defined after an internal and external analysis: Which wishes and needs of SME companies within the online fashion sector in the Netherlands and Belgium should Moonen Packaging focus on when developing innovative sustainable packaging solutions? Translated with (free version)

“We investigated what kind of packaging the target group needs and what functions and requirements play a role in this,” says Tycho Rameckers, 4th year Commercial Economics student at Zuyd. “In addition, what the supplier of this packaging must incorporate into his or her services to better meet the needs of this target group.” After thorough qualitative and quantitative research and analysis of the buyers’ journey, the group of talented students came up with the recommendation to develop an innovative circular product and offer it to its customers in cooperation with a start-up in the market that specialises in this. This is done in close cooperation with the customers. In addition, their plan contains a fully developed implementation proposal.

What do you learn from this kind of assignment from the business world with regard to sustainability and circularity, in this case packaging?
Tycho RameckersThe way in which the current economy deals with residual flows and disposable packaging is a major problem. All the links in the sector are working towards a suitable solution, but this appears to be very difficult. Circularity is a subject that offers a lot of potential but also involves a lot of cost, which seems almost unfeasible for small businesses as it is at the expense of margins and price increases are difficult to accept in the current market.” Translated with (free version)

Did this assignment influence your further study/career choices?
“For me personally, it has become clear that I find it a very interesting subject. Partly because a lot is happening in it, it is the challenge of today and the near future and therefore a subject that actually concerns everyone. Personally, I think it is important that you do something that also benefits someone else. Sustainability is a way out here whereby you contribute to a better world. This appeals to me a great deal, and that is why I am going to study this more in my further education. Finally, I think it would be great to be able to make a difference in this, so I would be proud to make a career in this.”

“It is always valuable
to be inspired by the fresh eyes of students.
This is how a new generation gets to know our company,
and we our employees of the future.

Roland van Bussel, COO Moonen Packaging

Moonen Packaging can also look back with satisfaction on the creativity and work ethic of the students. Roland van Bussel, COO Moonen PackagingWhat the group of students managed to achieve in Corona’s time, entirely online and without any physical meetings or guided tours, is impressive. It is always valuable for a company to be inspired by a fresh view from students. We also try to attract young talent to Moonen in this way. We want to introduce the new generation to our beautiful company but the same certainly applies the other way around: we want to get to know our employees of the future now. And we are always open to this kind of cooperation with education!”.