Oct 11, 2021

A look at English Tea Shop's new "most sustainable packaging to date"

Independent design and innovation agency Echo Brand Design has revealed its latest collaboration with English Tea Shop in the form of its innovative premium packaging for a new range of Whole Leaf Teas.
Fin Slater

As part of its ongoing work for the brand over the last 4 years, Echo conceived and designed the innovative packaging for a new range of organic premium Whole Leaf Teas (tea that consists of whole, intact leaves which are reportedly higher in quality than standard loose tea). Embracing English Tea Shop’s commitment to sustainability and brand transparency, the team designed 100% compostable packaging which, when unfolded, reveals the stories behind the production of each tea in Sri Lanka, in the hopes of allowing the consumer to connect to the lives of the farmers and producers that grow and farm the tea.

Echo says that its collaboration with English Tea Shop was key to the success of the range, with Echo establishing the design principles for the range and the core team in Sri Lanka implementing these.

Nigel Ritchie, Creative Director at Echo Brand Design commented: “Having worked on establishing a premium brand identity for English Tea Shop in the past, we faced the challenge, in this brief, of designing packaging for the Whole Leaf Tea range which would build on the existing premium identity of the ranges. We re-appropriated the mandala motif throughout our design to work in harmony with the master visual identity. We also designed the physical packaging to create an engaging, tactile experience that builds on the brand’s unique farm-to-cup story.

"The everyday experience of opening a carton of tea bags is very different from the classic ritual of making, brewing and drinking whole leaf tea, a distinction we wanted to embrace in a theatrical and playful way through the packaging.”

When designing the fully bespoke packaging Echo was able to create a unique cardboard construction and visual identity that vividly brings to life the brands unique story whilst significantly enhancing ingredient and flavour credentials. Once the seal is broken and the carton lid is removed, the box opens up and unfurls like the petals of a budding flower to reveal uniquely constructed mandalas that celebrate the ingredients and contents within. The organic ingredients are held in a pouch made from GMO-free cellulose fibre and paired with a reusable scoop. These environmentally-friendly choices were driven by English Tea Shop’s founding principles of Creating Shared Value (CSV) - the concept that brands can thrive through steadfast commitments to sustainable developments and practices that create value for businesses, communities and the world at large.

Suranga Herath, CEO at English Tea Shop commented: “2025 will see us achieve our green goal of all our packaging being 100% biodegradable and thus we will see zero waste sent to landfill. Echo’s design for our Whole Leaf Tea range is an instrumental step towards achieving this goal. Echo has brought our vibrant and transparent approach to sustainability to life in a fresh and engaging way. They have proved to the market that sustainability does not equate to a reduction in premium packaging, in fact entirely the opposite.”

Fin Slater

Writer and editor with a professional background in the creative space
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