Custom T-Shirt Packaging: The Way The Professionals Do It

Mary Fedkovich

Mary Fedkovich, Client Manager in Multi-Programming Solutions  •  6 min read

Kids are not just one target audience who enjoy unwrapping present boxes. Grown-ups of any age and gender appreciate this delightful experience. Exploring the “gold” inside the colorful packaging begins with design admiration and untying the first bows. And here, the seller's task is to make this process engaging for customers and provide exponential value for their product in every tiny detail.

In this article, we’ll describe why t-shirt creative eco-packaging matters and how it can help to grow customers’ retention and make a brand recognizable.

Table of Contents

Preparing a T-shirt for packaging

Eco packaging

5 T-shirt packaging ideas


Once fashion clothing is printed, it’s time to consider the next stage of representing your excellent service - packing before shipping to the end customer. Honestly, it’s not a one-day task and requires wise preparation and close attention to detail. We’ll briefly describe some outstanding packaging ideas for clothing that will help to ensure a high-quality product.


Custom apparel producers often overlook tags as the main element to deliver brand value. With many options for t-shirt labels, like transferring them on the garment with special equipment for t-shirt printing methods, swing tags are the most simple and visible ones. They are commonly produced from cardboard (or other leather-like materials) and fixed to the t-shirt by a string or a pin.

Hanging labels are considered cost-effective small business packaging ideas because sellers can order their products in bulk at a lower price or even create them on their own. So, a perfectly recognizable label is always simple and includes essential data for customers and your company. 

The tag should highlight a brand name, logo, t-shirt size, material, washing, and care instructions. You can add a short brand story or social media QR code if space allows or use large t-shirt packaging boxes from wholesale vendors. Thus, you’ll re-purpose cardboard and make your production line almost zero-waste.

Clear plastic bags 

This packaging element is transparent and suitable for easier product visibility. It is manufactured from low-density polyethylene and is strong enough to ensure cloth safety during shipping. Plastic custom t-shirt packaging bags come in various sizes to fit your requirements. For example, if you produce apparel for children and grown-ups, you may order two types of such PET films: small and bigger ones. Bags have sticky tapes that securely fix clothes inside and prevent water and dirt penetration.

Cardboard packing inserts 

Heavy cardboard sheets prevent cloth slippage and crease. They are also used as a base for folding a t-shirt. To make an item presentable for customers, place the picture up, and turn around the cardboard from the left, right, and bottom sides, forming sharp corners. Here is the time to place a product in packaging plastic and send it to the buyer.

Corrugated cardboard box

This item will save the day if you need to ship several t-shirts to a single client. Pick the right size to avoid free spaces and slipping inside. Kraft paper and cardboard eco-packaging materials used for such boxes are environmentally friendly and add value to your company. Merchants can order corrugated boxes from wholesalers with unique designs and shapes to diversify their company among others t-shirt makers. For example, GKP printing prices for white and colored boxes are affordable even for small businesses.

Postcards, Bracelets & More

Sellers have equal opportunities and unlimited possibilities to improve customer experience even more. DIY t-shirt packaging ideas can be so pleasant and inspiring. Thus, you can add a small colorful card with soulful wishes for a happy holiday or “Thanks” for their purchase, excellent taste, and a sense of style. You can add cute bracelets with a printed brand logo, stickers, key chains, hair jewelry, candies - everything you can afford for your product popularization. The delivery box can include more than customers expect, and such a surprise will make them remember your name.

If you are an owner of a small business, you can contribute to planet-saving without negatively impacting your income. The most valuable thing sellers can do is to reduce environmental harm, even from small packages. To reach this goal, you should pay attention to material suppliers whose products can be composted or recycled.

If you are involved in B2B, practice working with wholesalers. It will help you avoid negative results from sending small packages by air or ground transport, like fuel, cardboard, paper, poly bags consumption, etc. Thus, you’ll contribute to reducing carbon emissions and waste of natural materials.

Make your packages as minimal as possible. Calculate the optimized box size containing a t-shirt and postcards with no free space. It will make shipping more sustainable and cheaper.

When creating eco packaging design, ensure that a printing business partner you cooperate with uses nontoxic inks. It is crucial for environmental protection, especially if the material will be composted.

Although sustainable packaging significantly impacts your product promotion, there are many ways to improve customer impression. Let’s check the most effective ones.

eco friendly t-shirt packaging

You’ve probably already learned the pain points of your end buyer, decided on the product to sell, and composed company values that will satisfy their needs. But you can go further, achieving a “wow” effect from the first seconds your eco-friendly t-shirt packaging reaches clients’ hands.

​Create a unique design

Figure out what you want to associate your brand with, which feelings to evoke, and express it in every detail. You can also outsource this task to professional artists. As a result, you’ll get a one-of-a-kind artwork that will be recognizable in the crowd. 

Experiment with box shapes, make a tube for rolled t-shirt packaging and mix colors to brighten boxes. A well-thought design is worth its investment and can pay you back with a growing number of loyal clients.

​Add value

Creative t-shirt packaging ideas are worth implementing to continue your brand storytelling. Cardboard boxes (and even plastic bags) have enough space for flyers, postcards, or сoasters. You can also print a small paper catalog describing other types of your customized t-shirts or make a calendar with special limited editions to encourage clients to purchase from your store again. With such an innovative approach, you won’t finish your interaction with customers after they have received a package. Instead, you will continue to promote the brand every time they use an additional item you’ve added.

​Stimulate word of mouth

You can discover your style, which makes people share their experience of unpacking your products. Some decisions can be as unique (like a wooden tube or a custom t-shirt packaging box in the form of a faceted diamond) that clients film videos of their purchases and promote the brand on social media or personally for free.

Besides, you can directly ask clients to support your small business by telling their friends or subscribers about your customized stuff. You may add stickers or composted tapes with brand contacts and social media references to the bottom of your bags or boxes.

​Establish a personalized connection

Always try to do more for clients by adding an emotional compound. That can be free packaging, a sweet fortune cookie (still, ensure it won’t be cracked), or a chocolate plate in the box with the t-shirt.

Some variants can be more budgetary but helpful for building customer trust and familiarity. Thus, you can include a postcard with the handwritten name of your client. This is the best t-shirt packaging idea that shows clients’ importance to the company and can melt their hearts.

​Make reusable packages

By incorporating an attractive internal or external design for your cardboard packages, you can encourage customers to use these materials for another purpose. For example, t-shirt tubes will become a perfect unbreakable vase for dry flowers or decorative feathers. Some masterpiece boxes can serve as storage for threads, jewelry, or an organizer for stationery.

It would also be effective to put a small instruction for users, introducing the possible ways to reuse custom printed t-shirt packaging at home. This smart approach will give a second life to materials and reduce waste.

Ethics of Printing on Demand: Copyright, Trademarks & The Risk of Lawsuit

To sum it up, wise t-shirt packaging for shipping brings excellent value. It can continue the brand story, encourage customers to share their experience from cooperating with your company, improve the level of client engagement and become a powerful tool for product popularization.

It is worth considering that bags and boxes for shipping custom t-shirts should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly, and meaningful to resonate with customers’ desires.

January 17, 2023
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