Marks & Spencer – Innovative & user friendly design

We’ve all been there. You are watching a son, daughter, niece or nephew trying to open a present on Christmas day and suddenly the excitement turns to frustration. Plastic and metal cable ties are often the source of this irritation.

Twisted in all directions to hold an eagerly awaited present in place, and much to the frustration of little hands, they take forever to unravel. Some even resort to using sharp objects to release the contents … with what can only be described as varying degrees of success. Of course, the problem is not exclusive to children or Christmas for that matter. In reality, conventional cable ties are in widespread use, affecting all age groups across a diverse range of products.

Leading British retailer, Marks and Spencer (M&S), understands its customers’ frustration and has been looking for an alternative packaging method for some time. Starting with toy packaging, the challenge was to find a material that could offer similar strength to cable ties, while at the same time satisfying environmental demands. It was during this process and together with a team at Design Futures, a part of the UK’s Sheffield Hallam University, that they discovered FibreForm from BillerudKorsnäs.

The team developed the initial ‘Paper Ties’ idea. The FibreForm material was crucial to its success, with strong primary fibres proving the ideal material to hold products in place, together with a durable tooth-edged design along each side.

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And this is indeed what happened. A large order was placed with a key M&S supplier specifically requesting the exclusive use of FibreForm. BillerudKorsnäs, whose mission is to challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future, could not be happier.

Alex Hill, Senior Packaging Technologist, General Merchandise, at M&S said “Getting toys out of their packaging is a big frustration for consumers – it is something that I personally find to be a real pain – and we’ve been working hard over the last 18 months to find a solution. The Paper Ties are designed to be as effective as plastic or metal ties, but can be torn easily by hand. No more accidents trying to cut plastic and wire ties on Christmas Day, and no more frustrated children waiting to play with their new toy.”

To find out more about what FibreForm can do for your packaging visit us here.

Marks & Spencer

Last updated: 2015-02-17