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Gift Wrapping – The Highstreet Initiative

Did you know, not all wrapping paper we buy from the shops can be recycled? FatFace, along with some other big highstreet names, have come up with an initiative that will save you time, effort, and money this Christmas.

Picture the scene. You’ve walked into your local highstreet retailer and picked up that perfect gift for your special someone. Once you’ve finished shopping, it’s placed in a paper bag and you’re on your way home to wrap it up and pop it under the tree. But what are you wrapping it with?

Mindful Wrapping

Over the last few years, highstreet shops such as FatFace and Primark have turned to ‘Mindful Wrapping’ in their stores and are providing customers with shopping bags that feature a sustainable twist. Instead of sending you off with a plain/branded paper bag for one time use, they have printed festive patterns onto their paper bags with the intention for them to be cut up and used as wrapping paper on the gift that you have just bought. Primark have redesigned their brown paper bags to feature candy cane red stripes.

In Europe, 74% [1] of paper and 83% [2] of paper-based packaging is recycled into new products. It’s no wonder larger companies are starting to use their own paper-based products in an act of sustainability.


Repurposing Your Paper Bags

In previous years, FatFace have designed their paper bags so they can double up as paper chains, as well as gift wrap. Some of their smaller shopping bags have even been printed with a template to make your own Christmas crackers. So no matter how big or small your purchase, you can be included in the sustainable, paper-based festivities.

As a part of this years Christmas campaign, FatFace have put together a blog on how to use calligraphy. This works well, not only as a single creative medium for writing, but it further enhances their shopping bag wrapping paper when used on presents. What’s more, any left over shopping bag wrapping paper can be used to make gift tags with your own calligraphy message on it.

Sustainable Concept

The possibilities for alternative paper bag use is far reaching when using such a sustainable product. St Louis based graphic designer, Jayvn Soloman designed a unique and sustainable concept for the high street store, H&M, that turns paper shopping bags into clothes hangers after use. Although this is just a concept, H&M have outlined how they aim to become a more sustainable business on their website. Although cotton bags are great for re-using multiple times when shopping, they need to be used at least 50 times to achieve the same climate performance as paper bags [3]. It’s no wonder the highstreet is starting to Love Paper!


So instead of grabbing rolls of wrapping paper and premade bows and ribbons, why not take a closer look at the paper bags and packaging that your gifts came in this year?

If you’re interested in more sustainable ways to wrap your gifts this year, check out our Christmas article, 8 Clever Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas. From clever folding techniques to creating your own tie on gift tags, there are lots of clever ways to wrap your gifts this Christmas.


  1. Cepi, 2020
  2. Eurostat, 2018
  3. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, 2018

The Paper Fact File

Paper is one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!

Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!