Glassine: A Sustainable Packaging Material for Your Apparel Brand

Top 5 Reasons to Make the Switch

Cheap and widely produced, single-use plastic bags significantly contribute to environmental waste — and customers are taking note. If your apparel brand is focused on sustainability, plastic polybags may send the wrong message. However, when it comes to sustainable packaging solutions, there are so many options it can be hard to determine the right choice for your brand.  If you haven’t considered glassine, now is the time to check out this translucent, durable material made 100% from paper. Let’s explore how this great option can help your company on your sustainability journey.

glassine packaging for apparel

Here are the top 5 reasons apparel brands should make the switch to glassine:

1. Glassine is recyclable, biodegradable and made from renewable materials.

Glassine is a glossy paper made from wood pulp, a renewable material. Free from coatings, it can be easily recycled and is naturally biodegradable. Glassine is pH neutral, acid-free, and resistant to moisture, air and grease, making it a great alternative to plastic packaging.

100% Curbside Recyclable


Made with Renewable materials

At JBM Packaging, all of our paper comes from FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) mills which means the paper has been harvested and produced responsibly. We manufacture our packaging in the United States, which can reduce transportation-related carbon emissions for apparel made in the USA compared to using materials produced overseas. We use only soy-based and water-soluble inks, which release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air than petroleum-based inks.

2. Glassine is durable and translucent.

Through a process called supercalendering, glassine gets its uniquely smooth, transparent and glossy properties. The type of supercalendering machine used impacts how dense and translucent the final glassine product becomes.

Glassine has twice the density (40-90 grams per square meter) of other common papers, making it stronger and more durable than standard paper of the same weight. Its beautiful translucent qualities will put your apparel and accessories on display and give your customers a delightful opening experience they can feel good about.

apparel packaging

3. Glassine allows your brand to shine.

Unlike plastic polybags which often only display “choking hazard” warning messages, glassine is completely brandable because it is made of paper. Whether you’re seeking full-coverage color, high-detailed patterns, or anything in between, your possibilities are endless.

Printing on glassine, however, requires a significant level of expertise and experience with the paper, specialty inks and specialized equipment. JBM Packaging has manufactured billions of glassine bags and has spent years researching the best methods to print, cut and fold this tricky material. Unlike other glassine manufacturers, we can print your logo, brand colors, messaging and sustainability benefits right on the bag, transforming your apparel packaging into a valuable brand asset.

4. Glassine delivers a positive opening experience.

Because glassine is smooth to the touch and static-free, your apparel will remain uncompromised and beautifully displayed. To deliver your ideal opening experience, JBM will work with you to design the right solution that will reflect your brand and product needs. We’ll identify if the best option for you is an adhesive, perforated tear strip or easy-open notch closure or determine if a tamper-proof security closure is a top priority.

With a switch from a plastic polybag to glassine, your customers will enjoy a guilt-free and hassle-free opening experience. By providing them with the opportunity to place your packaging in the recycle bin vs. the trash bin, you leave a lasting positive impression not just with your packaging but also with your brand.

5. Glassine beats the alternatives.

There are other alternatives to plastic polybags, but they do not offer the same recyclability, durability and branding capabilities.

Vellum is commonly used to describe all translucent papers and has a slightly rough surface compared to glassine. It is considerably more delicate and can be easily punctured or torn.

Parchment paper is a cellulose-based paper that has been chemically treated and infused with silicone to create a non-stick surface. It is difficult to print on or adhere labeling to and is not recyclable or compostable.

Wax paper is coated with a thin layer of paraffin or soybean-based wax. It is also difficult to print on or adhere labeling to and is not recyclable or compostable.

Cellophane is a completely transparent film that looks like plastic but is made of cellulose that has been removed from wood, hemp, cotton, or another plant source. Cellophane’s manufacturing process is not eco-friendly because it uses toxic chemicals to remove elements that soften and bleach the cellulose. These chemicals often release methane once it reaches a landfill.

Bioplastics are made from plant-based materials such as corn or sugarcane instead of petroleum. There is a lot of confusion around bioplastics because there are so many varieties — each differing widely on how it’s made and how much of its contents come from renewable sources. Some can be recycled and composted while others must be disposed of in the trash and taken to a landfill where it will not break down. Because there are many varieties of bioplastics, you will need to provide significant consumer education to ensure proper disposal.

alternative for polybags

We’ll help you transition from polybags to glassine.

Ready to show your customers that you are focused on the sustainability of your brand’s packaging as much as your clothing materials? Now is the perfect time to make the switch to this 100% curbside recyclable and biodegradable option that you and your customers will feel good about. Throughout the design process, our team will guide you every step of the way to help you reach your sustainability goals.

At JBM Packaging, we offer glassine paper bags, pouches and envelopes perfect for casual wear, swimwear, intimates, dress wear, accessories and more. From t-shirts and yoga pants to belts and underwear, glassine protects your garments while providing an artfully designed and custom-opening experience for your customer. From beautiful primary packaging that allows for scanning bar tags and applying stickers to unique and branded receipt and gift card holders, we’ll help you create the right product to reinforce your brand and messaging.

Interested in seeing what glassine can do for you? We’d love to send you free samples. Reach out to our team today.