Published on july 18, 2019

Everything You Need to Know (and Love!) About Our Recycled Mailers

written by Team thredUP

Chances are if you’ve shopped with us, you’ve probably received one of these polka-dotted beauties in the mail. You might be thinking, “Plastic packaging… really, thredUP?” But believe it or not, these mailers are more sustainable than paper. If you’re wondering why a planet-lovin’ company like thredUP is sending out plastic mailers then read on for some good-to-know facts about our packaging.

Our mailers are recycled domestically (hi, Ohio) from old plastics like plastic films and various rigid containers. They’re 100% recycled plastic, 100% recyclable, and 100% reusable. 


Why is this a big deal? 

It means we’re reusing plastic that has already been produced and keeping it out of our oceans and landfills. And with 8 million metric tons of plastic winding up in our oceans each year, making that switch is definitely worth celebrating. #secondhandfirst for the win! 

And that’s not all. Our new recycled mailers have a significantly SMALLER eco impact than paper mailers. Here’s what we learned: paper mailers take 17 times MORE water than our recycled plastic mailers. Plus, creating one recycled mailer takes three times less energy as opposed to paper. One more thing to note, 210K paper mailers can fit on one truck… when we make the switch to recycled mailers, we’ll be able to fit 1M. Yep, that’s a big deal. 

Here’s what you can do with your mailer: 

Reuse it for returns or cleaning out.

Our recycled mailers are resealable so you can send them right back to us with your return. Don’t have anything to return? You can print a free Clean Out shipping label and reuse our mailer as a mini Clean Out bag instead. Just make sure you aren’t mixing returns with Clean Out items, send one or the other!


Drop it off at a grocery store (NOT your recycling bin). 

Our mailers are 100% recyclable, but they can’t be dropped into your standard curbside recycling. In fact, there’s actually a bunch of items in your home that you may be mistakenly recycling or trashing, like plastic bags or saran wraps (see the list here)! All these items (our mailers included) must be dropped into special recycling bins at major grocery stores like Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart. You can find the nearest drop-off locations near you here

We recommend keeping a designated reusable grocery bag in your pantry and storing thredUP mailers, plastic bags, and other items that need to be taken to the special recycling bin. Before dropping them off in a recycling bin, make sure to remove the serial sticker label attached at the bottom of your recycled mailer. Then, when you’re ready to jet to the grocery store, grab that bag along with your other reusable grocery bags. You’ll never forget again!


Got questions? Need more information? Hit us up in the comments below.