From Tiffany’s blue box to Cartier’s red one, item packaging can produce effective brand name associations and produce a visual appeal that awakens desire for the items inside.

When it concerns high-end watches, oversize boxes in shiny exotic woods or covered in leather are market essentials, less for their practical energy than to assist build a sense of luxury and strengthen the perceived quality of the products they include. In the resale market, they impart an added sense of authenticity for purchasers, who appoint more value to a watch that is offered with its original box and papers.

Now, with customer mindsets in favor of eco-friendly items, some brand names are believing “outside the box” and making sustainability a central part of a business technique in which the packaging itself is a selling point.

“Big shiny wood boxes are so outdated,” said Jeremia Adatte, a designer and administrator at Adatte Design, an industrial style studio in Lausanne, Switzerland. “Who desires to see trees reduce to make a watch box?”

Adatte, a family-owned service founded by Mr. Adatte’s father, Georges, has been producing product packaging for clients in various industries considering that 1991. “Packaging is more essential today than ever,” Mr. Adatte said. “Just look how popular unboxing videos are on social media.”

With 20 graphic artists and designers, the company creates and produces packaging, show accessories and business presents made from recycled and nonrecycled product. A partner factory in Shanghai deals with nearly all of Adatte’s production, with some completing and sourcing done locally in Switzerland or in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic.

“Coming up with an initial idea takes years of research and advancement, whether it is a brand-new principle or a style to fulfill specifications for a client,” Mr. Adatte stated. “Our approach is innovation-focused, both in style and in sourcing brand-new materials.”

Adatte’s site lists a number of watch brand clients, consisting of Breitling, TAG Heuer and MB&F MAD Gallery, and the company stated it had developed a variety of innovative packages, objects and display alternatives for them. Mr. Adatte stated he can not be particular about projects, and the majority of brands, when asked, would not even identify their suppliers.

“When you are developing a box with ‘poor’ materials, like cardboard or upcycled plastics, you require a strong design which is appealing enough for an expensive watch,” Mr. Adatte stated.

Designing sustainable product packaging is not simply about image. It can have a financial effect on the brand name’s bottom line, specifically when the solution is scalable.

“Today, brand names look for ingenious product packaging since their consumers care about waste,” Mr. Adatte said. “But beyond enhancing their image, light-weight, easily transportable boxes save brands money.”

Breitling’s chief marketing officer, Tim Sayler, said that minimizing the company’s carbon footprint and its shipping costs were winning arguments in its choice to embrace brand-new packaging. Last month it introduced a collapsible watch box made entirely of recycled PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic from bottles.

“Transportation is always a problem in sustainability,” Mr. Sayler said. “Our brand-new box ships flat so it takes less space.”

A functional piece, its side and front wings fold and secure with snaps to develop a 3-D shape. An inside pocket was designed to keep the digital certificate of ownership that the brand just recently presented for its watches. A travel pouch, likewise made from recycled PET, is consisted of.

The box might be recycled again, according to Breitling, if it is required to a center that manages recycled PET.

“This box,” Mr. Sayler stated, “was created by our team of in-house designers who work on whatever from watches to collaterals to shops, with external input from partners who recommended us on style and product sourcing.” He would not identify the partners, but stated the style process took 18 months.

Next year Breitling anticipates to utilize around 200,000 of the boxes, made by a German packaging supplier in China, for brand-new watches. And, in an effort to reduce deliveries, the boxes will be dispatched straight to boutiques or subsidiary markets rather than to Breitling’s Swiss head office, Mr. Sayler stated.

Breitling is not the very first brand name to take this focus. In 2018, IWC Schaffhausen designed boxes that “contain 90 percent less plastic than previously, and 80 percent of the plastic remaining is recycled,” Franziska Gsell, IWC’s chief marketing officer and chairwoman of its Sustainability Committee, wrote in an e-mail. The weight and volume of the boxes also were minimized by 30 percent.

Why not abandon plastic entirely? The Paris-based watch brand Nepto utilizes only recycled cardboard and paper for its boxes, according to its creator, Vincent Ifrah, 33, who holds a degree in materials engineering. Nepto makes about 1,000 watches a year, with a starting price of 189.90 euros ($224).

“Our boxes are 100 percent recycled and recyclable, and they look excellent, so you will not desire to throw them away,” Mr. Ifrah said.

“There is truly no factor to use plastic to make watch boxes today considering that we get the exact same quality utilizing cardboard,” he said. “Ours are made in France at a very low expense, evidence that it is completely achievable.”

Recycled cardboard likewise is the product packaging product most widely utilized by Oris, a Swiss watch brand. And, according to Rolf Studer, its co-chief executive, business will end up being CO2-neutral next year by managing travel, decreasing energy usage and several other steps.

“When we began talking about sustainability 10 years ago, everyone would yawn,” Mr. Studer said from the factory in Hölstein, Switzerland. “Now everybody is speaking about it.”

In collaboration with Pacific Garbage Screening, a not-for-profit association building a drifting platform designed to capture ocean plastics, Oris in 2015 released the Clean Ocean Limited Edition diver watch in a series of 2,000 (priced at 2,200 Swiss francs, the equivalent of $2,400). The watch included a case back decorated with a medallion of recycled PET and was sold in a box made partially of marine algae and covered with recycled paper initially utilized to filter algae in Venice’s Grand Canal. A travel pouch of recycled cotton is to be added next year.

“We wish to bring attention to the truth that garbage can have a 2nd life even in a luxury item,” Mr. Studer stated.

“Everything about owning luxury is altering,” he stated. “Investing in high-end item only makes sense today when it remains in something you enjoy and will keep permanently.”

“Big glossy wood boxes are so outdated,” stated Jeremia Adatte, a designer and administrator at Adatte Design, an industrial style studio in Lausanne, Switzerland. Next year Breitling expects to use around 200,000 of the boxes, made by a German packaging supplier in China, for new watches. The Paris-based watch brand Nepto utilizes just recycled cardboard and paper for its boxes, according to its creator, Vincent Ifrah, 33, who holds a degree in materials engineering.”There is actually no reason to utilize plastic to make watch boxes today considering that we get the very same quality using cardboard,” he stated. The watch came with a case back decorated with a medallion of recycled PET and was offered in a box made partially of marine algae and covered with recycled paper initially used to filter algae in Venice’s Grand Canal.