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The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Wrapping

It’s that time of year when you can hear the crinkle of wrapping paper on the air, and shrink-wrapped roles of sparkly festivity can be seen poking out the top of most shopping bags … but behind all the glitter and foil sheen, there is a much darker reality.

Zero Waste Gift Wrap


To keep the UK stocked with wrapping paper each year, a forest the size of Wales needs to be cut down … and 227,000 miles of that same paper is then thrown away at the end of that same year. 

That’s where we come in! Here at Eco Ness we have dedicated ourselves to finding you eco-conscious alternatives for any and all occasions, and right now you need gift wrap. Say no more.

Our range holds the very best brands on the eco market, featuring the most sustainably sourced materials and alternatives to fit all your gift garnishing needs.

So, follow our lead and wrap smarter, not harder. 

Gift Wrapped With Newspaper

First, pick your poi-- … antidote

✨ Keep it traditional

Few things beat the feeling of tearing open a present and revealing what’s inside … so if you’re looking to stick to paper this year, be mindful with what you choose.

Newspaper is a fantastic way to repurpose what we already have lying around and can give your gift a nice rustic feel. Alternatively, you can use brown parcel paper for a more neutral and customisable look. 

If you need an easier way to differentiate between gifts, or just want a splash of colour, we have a plastic free wrapping paper, available in silver, gold, and red

Our solid colognes are new in store and not only do we love them, but they are also an easy shape to wrap up in the paper of your choice.

✨ Furoshiki cloth

This technique originates in Japan and is an artform that is also a fantastic, versatile way to wrap gifts sustainably.

The cloth used for Furoshiki is usually made of cotton, silk, nylon, or rayon, and comes in a variety of different patterns and colours. But the same technique can be applied using material in your home, either from old blankets, pillowcases, or clothing. Just make sure that whatever you’re using is strong enough to hold the gift in question.

Then cut your fabric into a square (usually between 45x45cm or 75x75cm).

The easiest wrapping method involves placing the gift in the centre, folding one corner over the item, then the opposite corner, and using the remaining two corners tie a sturdy knot.

If you need a hand, Zusetsu offers a ton of tutorials on a wide variety of wrapping methods. Check them out!

✨ Santa’s sack

If you’re out of spare material, but would still like to use fabric over paper, then you could try one of our reusable fabric gift bags. Perfect for a bottle of your favourite festive beverage, or for something with a healthier kick.

Our bags are also perfect for a more Santa style approach. Pick the perfect wee gift (our sustainable gift ideas are a great place to start) and present them with a bow colour of your choice.

✨ Reuse, reuse, reuse

When online shopping, be sure to refashion any cardboard boxes or envelopes you receive into the perfect present wrapping for items that benefit from added protection.

A small box can be easily fashioned into something to hold handmade jewellery – we are loving these macrame earrings at the moment.


Furoshiki Fabric Gift Wrap


Next, make a habit that sticks

✨ Tape it up

It’s estimated that the UK alone uses over six million rolls of tape, and that’s just during the festive period. These tapes are made of plastics that are non reusable, and most end up in landfill, where the chemicals in the gums pollute the earth.

Plus, wrapping paper covered in sticky tape cannot be recycled.

Thankfully we have an easy solution. Our paper tape will get the job done well and truly, and even comes in festive designs.

We also have tape with a beautifully delicate dandelion seed print... perfect for all occasions not just for Christmas!

✨ Who needs tape?

With yet another ingenious Japanese technique, we can utilise origami folds to wrap our gifts using zero tape. With a little patience and confident folds, you can smash this zero-waste technique.


Reusable Gift Wrap

And finally, add a bit of spice

✨ Wrap it in a bow

Twine is a brilliant and eco-friendly alternative to ribbon, and can add a decorative touch to your pressies. And luckily for you we have candy cane striped cotton twine, perfect for the festive season.

✨ Customise and personalise

If you’re using brown paper or something plain, you can try vamping up the Christmas aesthetic with ink stamps or, if you’re handy with a pen, add some touches by hand.

Then, to really level up your gift to the ultimate eco level, slip some dried foliage behind the twine bow. It will be almost too beautiful to open – and that’s the aim.

✨ Tag it up

Every present needs a to and from, and you can easily transform a pile of old Christmas cards into fresh new present tags.

But if you want something matching and a little more premium, we have a stellar range of Christmas print tags to attach to your gifts.

Let the message be sustainability!


You see? Gift wrapping doesn’t have to (literally) cost the earth. With a little careful planning, and a few nods in the right direction, you can up your game and do your part for the environment – all in a day’s work.


What are you wrapping? Which method will you be choosing to do it …? Share your creations and tag us on Instagram, at @shop.econess – we’d love to hear from you.

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