A new packaging concept which combines natural fibre flocking technology with paperboard has been created and it has been named the Flock Box.
The combination of the flocking technology and paperboard create the end result of a fully recyclable premium gift box. This innovative new packaging creation is the work of a collaboration between four separate companies who, together, chose to focus on the development of sustainable packaging solutions.
The Flock Box is a gift box that has been designed with sustainability at the forefront of its manufacturing process. It is suitable for packaging many products, such as cosmetics, electronics, jewellery and other products which need a luxury presentation, a safer and more secure packaging option and a better unboxing experience for the customer. The design consists of an embossed outer box, and inner tray that has tailored cavities that take various shapes and forms. The purpose of these cavities is to make the box suitable for different items, such as watches or perfume bottles. The excellent appearance of the insert is made that way through the use of static electric currents, which force the fibers to stand up and consequently resemble velvet-like material.
The four companies which have been involved in the production and design of this box include Holmen Iggesund, Krekelberg, Inmaco Solutions and Van de Velde Packaging Group. The companies chose to create this product in a collaborative way, to highlight the benefits of working together to other brands. They wanted to do this to encourage other brands to work together across the value chain, in order to increase the development of alternative and sustainable packaging solutions throughout the future.
Each of the companies that participated, were absolutely necessary for the manufacturing process, in order for the box to turn out as it did. The Dutch company Krekelberg has lots of experience with flocking material and therefore they gave the team the idea to use Inverform with cellulose fibres. This added a high luxury feel to the board. On the other hand, Inmaco Solutions, a Dutch machine builder came to the collaboration with a lot of experience with sustainable machine engineering, as well as a specialist in 3D forming of board and wet moulded fibre. It was Inmaco Solutions that made and provided the group with the tools that enabled them to press-form the flocked Inverform inserts. Finally, Van de Velde Packaging Group and Holmen Iggesund’s Invercote DUO came to the collaboration with a pre-made plan that utilised both of their skills. Whilst Holmen provided the paperboard, Van de Velde, used their knowledge from being active within the packaging industry in folding cartons, solid board, corrugated board and machinery. By combining their skills, the two companies manufactured the outer Flock Box packaging, which in the end was made from Holmen’s paperboards. These paperboards are crafted from fresh wood fibres, which are a renewable material and are sourced from sustainably managed forests, they are also well suited to recycling. The outer box is created out of Invercote DUO and this material was chosen as it has printing surfaces that enable optimal reproduction of the most sophisticated printing images. The inner tray is manufactured out of Inverform, which is a paperboard with high stiffness designed for stable pressed and folded trays that need a high visual appeal. The final finishing touches applied to the end product were using a die-cut technique on the top part of the inserts made from Inverform and treating the gift box surface to emphasise the embossing and luxury feel of the box itself.
Head of Formables at Holmen Iggesund, Per Berglund, commented, “The Flock Box has been enabled by the development of Holmen Iggesund’s highly formable paperboard Inverform, which has unique characteristics that allow it to be press-formed in the required shapes. The collaborative aspect is very important. Four positive forces have worked together in a packaging development project where materials, machinery, tooling and production all played essential roles. The result is a proof of concept that shows brands what can be done. We are seeing more and more conscious luxury brands wanting to replace plastic with fibre-based solutions.”
Berglund continued, “The Flock Box is made of board and fibres that are 100% recyclable in the existing paper collection stream, contributing directly to a circular packaging ecosystem. Flocked fibre-based inlays could replace large quantities of plastic inlays.”