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Packaging for Underwear: Trends Your Customers Will Love

Cardboard packaging boxes with gold foil stamp logo

Underwear packaging can come in as many shapes and sizes as underwear itself. Sellers who understand the best type of packaging to use will ensure customers are satisfied with their purchases. These are this year’s stylish underwear packaging trends that will keep customers coming back.

Table of Contents
Why is packaging for underwear important?
Trends in underwear packaging
Choosing the right packaging for underwear

Why is packaging for underwear important?

The underwear industry consists of clothing that both men and women wear close to the skin or under their clothing, and is often divided into the following segments:

  • Bras
  • Underpants
  • Sleepwear
  • Loungewear
  • Shapewear
  • Others

Globally, the underwear market is expected to reach USD 139.29 billion by the end of 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.0% from 2021-2027. One of the major driving factors in the market is an increase in the popularity of e-commerce. The online store segment of the men’s underwear and women’s lingerie market is projected to achieve a nearly 19% share and rise to become the second largest distribution channel by 2024. 

As more customers demand products that are packaged and mailed directly to their homes, packaging for underwear will become even more important for sellers to consider. A growing interest in sustainability will also influence the latest trending materials in underwear packaging.

Trends in underwear packaging

Packaging bags

Black plastic packaging bag with zip lock closure
Black plastic packaging bag with zip lock closure

Packaging bags are a simple and affordable option for underwear packaging. These types of bags are suitable for all styles of underwear, including bras and panties, but their flexible exterior may offer less protection for items like molded bras. 

The most widely used materials are waterproof plastics like PE or EVA. Plastic can also be combined with other materials to form a thicker composite material that feels durable and high-end. For eco-friendlier and more breathable alternatives, non-woven fabrics are a popular choice.

Pouches can be designed to lay flat or stand up, with transparent, frosted, or aluminized finishes. Transparent plastic bags are often left plain without a logo or pattern, but other materials can easily be printed using silk-screen, gravure, offset, or watermark techniques. Closures can be made from a self-adhesive seal, zip lock, sliding zipper, or button

Transparent plastic boxes

Transparent plastic boxes are a sturdier alternative to plastic bags. They are commonly used for men’s underwear packaging, such as for boxer packaging or sports underwear. 

While PVC is the most popular and affordable material, there will likely be a rise in demand for more environmentally friendly alternatives. As a result, PP and PET are expected to become more sought-after because they are recyclable and do not release as many toxins compared to other plastics.

These plastic packaging boxes often have a folding top that can come with a hang tab if display on a retail shelf is required. Although these plastic boxes are transparent, they are frequently customized with UV printing, screen printing, or hot stamping graphics that contain both images and information on the brand and product.

Packaging tubes

Red packaging tube with cap lid
Red packaging tube with cap lid

Packaging tubes are a unique and appealing style of packaging. They can be used for any type of underwear but are especially ideal for fragile items like bras or silk undergarments. The tube’s cylindrical shape makes it sturdy and solid enough to protect delicate garments during transport.

Underwear tubes are generally made from PVC plastic or paper. PVC is useful if waterproofing is desired, but paper will appeal to eco-conscious customers who look for biodegradable or recyclable packaging. Common paper materials include coated paper, ivory board, or brown paper. 

The opening can be created using a tin lid or cap lid, and the dimensions of the tube should allow the products to fit snugly when rolled or folded. While the cylinder can be branded with a sticker label, customers may consider custom printing to be a sign of high quality.

Collapsible paper bags

White collapsible paper bag with handles
White collapsible paper bag with handles

Paper packaging is seeing a resurgence in recent years as the world places more focus on sustainability. While plastic underwear bags are commonplace and affordable, paper bags will appeal to customers who are especially mindful of the environment. 

Although collapsible paper bags are lightweight, they are still well-designed to protect delicate fabrics, and compared to plastic, have the added benefit of looking more elegant. Paper underwear bags are also a less expensive option for sellers who do not have the budget for high-end alternatives.

Kraft paper is the most popular material because it is manufactured to be stronger than regular paper. Narrow envelope bags are suitable for items like underpants, while wider shopping bag styles will fit bras and large lingerie pieces. Closures can include a self-adhesive seal, hoop and loop, or tab lock. The bag can also come with a distinctive laser cut window or handles. Herringbone tape is an affordable option for string handles, but upscale brands will likely use silk ribbon or cotton rope. 

Packaging boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes with pull out drawer
Cardboard packaging boxes with pull out drawer
Folding corrugated cardboard boxes with lid
Folding corrugated cardboard boxes with lid

Packaging boxes are the most protective type of underwear packaging. They can be used for any style of underwear but are great for larger items like undershirts or a set of cotton underwear, or items that would benefit from more premium packaging, such as lingerie or loungewear.

The simplest form of packaging box is a rectangular paper box. These paper boxes can be made from kraft paper for a high quality look and may come with a PVC window or hanger.

Collapsible packing boxes made from corrugated cardboard are a more sophisticated option. They are also versatile enough to double as mailer boxes during shipping. For the most luxury feel, sellers should use rigid cardboard boxes with a lid and base or a sliding pull-out drawer box. Details like magnetic closures or silk ribbon will also contribute to an upscale image.

Choosing the right packaging for underwear

As e-commerce drives the underwear market over the next few years, it will be vital for sellers to pay attention to packaging. Customers will demand attractive packaging for underwear that protects intimate garments during transport and prevents damage to luxurious fabrics like lace and embroidery. Plastic underwear bags are among the most popular of options, but a widespread cultural shift towards environmentalism is pushing recyclable paper bags, packaging tubes, and boxes to the forefront.

Major players in the underwear industry are investing in mono-brand stores and expanding their product lines to include a wide variety of products. This shift towards a single brand for all types of underwear means sellers need to understand how to choose the right underwear package for each type of underwear they sell. Sellers who stay updated on the different types of packaging available will be successful in learning to properly package their products.

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