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This guest blog post was contributed by Meagan Downey, founder of Shiki Wrap.

6 Reasons Why Reusable Gift Wrap Will Change Your Life

I know. It’s a bold title. But as the founder of a reusable gift wrap business, this literally is my
life, and I’d like to make the case for how reusable gift wrap can improve your special
occasions, your relationships, and the well-being of the planet.

Read on for some gift wrap hacks and tips to help make the switch to reusable cloth gift wrap
easy, fun and cost-effective.

1. It Saves You Time

We’ve all been there – in some basement or workroom scrambling to hunt down the scissors
and the tape. Then comes the painstaking work of wrapping the gift with perfect folds and lines hoping for an end result that looks effortless, but even your best wrapping job probably
required 2 attempts resulting in swaths of paper that ended up in the trash. And if you’re
dealing with an odd-shaped gift? Easily 20 minutes of 3 or 4 gift wrap attempts.

Reusable gift wrap wraps gifts in a fraction of the time it takes to wrap presents in traditional
paper wrap. After spending 5 minutes watching videos or reading simple instructions, you will
be able to take any size gift, determine what size of a wrap you need, and get that gift wrapped
in seconds. Odd-shaped gifts wrap easily especially when you have a wrap that has some
forgiving stretch to the fabric.

Truth be told: Even me – the reusable gift wrap lady – sometimes has to experiment a little bit
to find the cleanest lines and the best look for different sized gifts but the beauty of reusable
gift wrap is that if you don’t like the look of your first wrap, you can simply untie and tie again.
Many times, I use this gift wrap hack that doesn’t require tying at all and utilizes the stretch of
Shiki Wrap to get those clean lines around the gift that we’re accustomed to.

2. It Saves You Space

If you’re an organized gift wrapper, perhaps you have a dedicated space for every paper gift
wrap roll, tissue and necessary accessories for wrapping. If you’re a busy gift wrapper, you
might have a huge tub on the top shelf in some closet somewhere that you have to lug down
and rifle through every time you need to wrap a gift. Either way, gift wrap is taking up your
valuable space.

Reusable fabric gift wrapping cloths are simply folded up and stored easily in a small drawer or
tote. High quality wraps like Shiki Wrap can be machine washed, dried, ironed and treated like
any other durable fabric so you don’t have to worry about wrinkles or tears.

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3. It Will Elevate Your Gift Giving as a "Gift Within a Gift"

We all want to find the most thoughtful gift for those we love, and reusable gift wrap takes that
thoughtfulness to a new level. Think about it – after spending an hour researching the best gift
for Mother’s Day or Christmas or your best friend’s birthday, you could wrap it in (a)
nonrecyclable plastic covered gift wrap that makes everyone feel guilty and ends up in a
landfill; or (b) gift a reusable gift wrap made from sustainable materials that is durable and
versatile enough to be reused as a scarf, head wrap, tote bag and yes – gift wrap.

Of course, many people use other nonreusable alternatives, such as newspaper or children’s
drawings, and that’s great, but encouraging reuse helps to build a circular economy and
provides the bonus gift of the experience of learning about something “new” – depending on
how you see things of course since the Japanese tradition of furoshiki is definitely not new –
just new to most Americans.

Each Shiki Wrap includes a small card with instructions for the gift recipient to be able to reuse,
and by centering the Japanese tradition of furoshiki in the name of the brand itself, we hope
that our customers’ gift recipients enjoy an introduction to a rich cultural tradition about which
they otherwise might not have known.

5 gifts and flowers wrapped with Shiki Wrap Reusable Wrapping Paper

4. It Can Serve as a Keepsake

When used with close family – like our parents or with our parents and children during the
holidays – cloth gift wraps can become a tradition. For example, as a mom, most of my gift
giving happens under my own roof. Whether that’s Christmas morning, Father’s Day, birthdays,
graduations or anything else, I’m often taking those wraps back to reuse for future special
occasions. Many customers opt to purchase full collections with prints appropriate for specific
holidays knowing the initial investment is going to pay off over time and enhance their families’ celebrations for years to come.

5. It's so Much More than Gift Wrap

When I developed the Shiki Wrap in 2020 with a few qualities not seen in traditional Japanese
furoshiki, I developed a little focus group of gift wrappers in my life to get feedback on the
product. My mother-in-law – a very sensible and funny woman – was very clear. She thought I
was crazy to sell it as gift wrap.

“I use mine as a scarf,” she said, “You have to sell these as scarves!” It’s true. The larger wraps
make beautiful scarves. The natural cooling effect of the recycled plastic fabric is a favorite for
customers in cancer treatment looking for fashionable but comfortable head wraps. Our largest wraps are being used as luxury furoshiki knotted gift bags at the French Riviera Film Festival in Cannes next month. There are customers who swear the small wraps make the best cloth to keep in their purse to clean their eyeglasses, and one customer who used a wrap to hold her child’s broken arm in place until she could get medical attention.

While we’re focused on the reusable gift wrap function for reason #6 below, these wraps are
incredibly versatile. I personally always travel with a few so I can make a tote bag on the go,
separate items in my bag or create an instant lunch bag as needed.

6. It has an Impact on the Planet

Let’s be real. We all know that major impacts on big problems like climate change have to be
driven by large corporations – and while our influence as consumers on those big corporations
matters, it’s easy to feel like our actions don’t really matter. Savvy people reading this may
know how marketing campaigns to make consumers feel good about recycling have been more effective at distracting us from the real issues at hand than they have been at actually recycling plastic. And with greenwashing popping up just about everywhere from the grocery aisle to the gas pump, so does mistrust whenever any one makes the argument that our actions as consumers do make a difference.

While I’m no expert on the unintended environmental impacts of electric vehicles or efforts to
create alternative forms of sustainable energy, I have spent the last several years of my life
taking a deep dive into the effects that gift wrap and packaging have on the environment – and they are significant.

Annually, in the U.S. alone, single-use wrapping paper requires over 27 million gallons of water
to produce – much of it then coated in microplastics – creating over 2.3 million pounds of waste
in landfills. Each. Year. In the U.S. alone.

This is an environmental problem we can solve in a way that actually saves time and elevates
the gift experience itself. As a startup in our third year of business, we are working to bring
costs further down and streamline manufacturing to make this an even more accessible and
sustainable solution for a larger number of customers, making every present perfect.

For tips and tricks on how to wrap your presents using reusable gift wrap, visit or watch a tutorial video here!

And to try Shiki Wrap yourself, click the link below 😉

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