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Mulberry founder “packaging is a vital first touchpoint”


Roger Saul, founder of British fashion label Mulberry and now owner of organic spelt brand Sharpham Park, stressed the importance of using natural materials in packaging during a headliner presentation yesterday [Thursday 20 September 2023].

Taking to the Luxury stage at London Packaging Week, Saul explained that the correlation between packaging and product has been key for both Mulberry fashion and home, and more recently for their wheat alternative products.

Starting as a belt designer, Saul then lead the way with Filofax nile crocodile leather outers. He explained that the famous cover is a prime example of “taking the product back into the packaging, and people recognise that sort of touch point.” This can also been seen in the brand’s fragrance line, their men’s cologne came in a bottle inspired by a hip flask.

When launching Mulberry Home in 1990, packaging also became a useful marketing tool. For an exhibition, the team created a shopping bag using their new Tudor Animals print.

“We put all our samples in it. So everybody who came to the stand just went off around the exhibition with a Mulberry Home bag, and they then all went around London because they were visiting internationally.

“People were asking ‘But what’s that? Where did that come from?’ It’s another great way of using packaging, the function actually wasn’t for a product, it was for the brand because it got us out there into the world.”

Furthermore, sustainable packaging is nothing new for the luxury brand. “Throughout all of my career, natural materials have been a vital part. And craft paper as a form of packaging has been something I’ve used again and again. We probably first used it in the 70s. We did it on brochures, we did it on bags,” he noted. Craft paper can also been seen across Saul’s Sharpham Park brand, which the designer now focuses on.

Read more about sustainable packaging in the brand new DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report. Available to pre-register for now, the report looks at how the UK Top500 retailers are changing their packaging for the good of the planet and what UK consumers think about oversized packaging, and the waste it generates.

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