Poly Mailers in the Fashion Industry: Protecting Garments During Shipping

Poly Mailers in the Fashion Industry: Protecting Garments During Shipping
Poly Mailers in the Fashion Industry: Protecting Garments During Shipping

Are you planning to start an e-commerce fashion brand and seeking an effective shipping solution? You might be looking for cost-effective yet reliable packaging.  Poly mailers are very popular in this field; almost every e-commerce brand uses them for packaging. But what makes them so special?

They are more than just a cost-effective and customizable option. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of using poly mailers in fashion shipping and best practices for protecting garments during transit.

The Rise of Poly Mailers in Fashion Shipping

Poly mailers, also known as plastic shipping bags or plastic bags for shipping, have emerged as the packaging of choice for many apparel businesses. These courier bags are commonly made from water-resistant polyethylene plastic.

What are poly mailers? Poly mailers are envelope-style bags with seals along the sides or top for securely sending items through the mail. The thin, lightweight polyethylene plastic material makes poly mailers a cost-effective way to mail items. According to Global Market Insights, the global poly mailer market will grow by 18% from 2022-2030.

This significant growth is driven largely by the e-commerce and fashion industries adopting poly mailers as a preferred shipping solution. As businesses seek more efficient and cost-effective ways to fulfill orders and ship products to customers worldwide, the demand for poly mailers is expected to continue rising.

Types of Poly Mailers

Poly mailers come in a variety of styles suited for different fashion shipping needs:

  • Standard poly mailers have an adhesive seal and are available in many sizes. They work well for most apparel items.
  • Side-seal mailers open along the short side for easy loading. These prevent the wrinkling of delicate fabrics.
  • Top-open mailers provide full access to insert items, making them good for bulkier sweaters or shoes.
  • Tear-resistant poly mailers have reinforced seams for extra durable shipping. Ideal for heavy garments like jackets.
  • Bubble mailers have built-in padding for fragile accessories or fabrics. The bubbles provide cushioning against shocks.
  • Clear poly mailers allow visibility of contents. Helpful for customs declarations or enhancing visual branding.

With this range of poly mailer types, fashion brands can select versions tailored specifically to their product mix and shipping requirements.

Benefits of Poly Mailers

Poly mailers offer numerous advantages for the fashion industry, particularly in terms of cost efficiency, sustainability, and ease of use. Here are key points highlighting the benefits of poly mailers:


The lightweight polyethylene material reduces shipping costs by lowering postage fees. According to industry estimates, sending a 3 oz. poly mailers can cost approximately 30% less than sending the same item in a cardboard box. This adds up to major savings for high-volume shippers.

Moreover, compared to cardboard boxes, they are more affordable and save you money by protecting your goods. Many e-commerce brands have encountered situations where they lost goods due to damaged clothing. Poly mailers are tear-resistant and protect garments from moisture, dirt, and other hazards during shipping. This prevents damage even for longer transits.

Brand Enhancement

Custom printing and labeling allow fashion brands to turn ordinary poly mailers into customized packaging that reflects their brand identity. Mailers can showcase company logos, images, slogans, and more by creating a custom polymailer. This creates unique unboxing experiences for customers.

Research has shown brands with pretty good customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors with lower customer satisfaction. In this way, you don’t have to pay extra for branding, and you can differentiate yourself through your delivery methods.

Environmentally Friendly

Many poly mailers are produced using recycled polyethylene materials and are recyclable themselves after use. This supports fashion sustainability initiatives by reducing waste and enabling circular reuse.

Also, the customers are choosing brands with sustainability. The research shows an increase in Vogue audiences who say sustainability is an important factor when making a fashion purchase, from 65 percent in October 2020 to 69 percent in May 2021. Eco-conscious brands can choose plant-based or compostable mailers.

Space Savvy

Poly mailers lay flat when empty, allowing for compact stacking and storage to maximize space in warehouses, fulfillment centers, and during transport. This streamlines inventory management.

With this winning combination of cost efficiency, branding potential, sustainability, and versatility, it’s clear why poly mailers have become the top choice for fashion industry shipping needs.

Protecting Garments in Poly Mailers

To fully leverage poly mailers for fashion shipping, brands must pack them properly to shield garments in transit.

Here are tips for protecting clothing items within poly mailers:

Select the Right Size Mailer

Choosing mailers that fit your garments avoids excess movement inside the bag. Excess room can lead to wrinkles and wear.

When selecting a mailer size, allow 2-3 inches of room all around the item. For example, a Medium (10 x 13 inch) mailer fits most t-shirts, while a Large (12 x 15 inch) fits most sweaters.

Take a look at the below bar graph showing average prices for different poly mailer sizes and their cost difference.

Popular poly mailer dimensions include:

  • Small: 8.5 x 12 inches
  • Medium: 10 x 13 inches
  • Large: 12 x 15 inches
  • Extra Large: 14 x 19 inches

For bulk apparel shipping, most brands choose the Medium or Large sizes.

Use Multiple Layers of Protection

While poly mailers are tear-resistant, delicate fabrics need extra cushioning. Add layers like:

  • Tissue paper to prevent wrinkles
  • Bubble wrap-around embellishments
  • Waterproof plastic lining for moisture-prone items like swimwear

You can also purchase poly mailers with built-in bubble padding for added protection.

Seal the Mailer Securely

Ensuring garments don’t slip out during transit requires properly sealed packaging. Here are tips for securely sealing poly mailers:

  • Seal tightly and apply pressure.
  • Inspect corners for any gaps and reinforce with tape.
  • Apply glue inside for added reinforcement.
  • Tape seams to prevent ripping.
  • Replace any worn-out adhesive to maintain strong seals.

Choose the Right Mailer Thickness

Poly mailers come in a range of material thicknesses, usually measured in mil. A higher mil = thicker, more durable plastic.

For fashion items, an ideal thickness is 2-3 mils. This balances durability with flexibility so garments aren’t damaged if the mailer is bent.

Heavier mailers also cost more in postage, so choose the right thickness for your product and shipping distance.

Custom Poly Mailers

Beyond protection, custom poly mailers allow you to reinforce branding through custom colors, printing, and labeling.

Consider adding:

  • Your logo
  • Brand name
  • Product photos
  • Return address
  • Website or social media handles

With creative, on-brand customizations, you can transform functional poly mailers into marketing assets.

Poly Mailers Deliver for Fashion Brands

With lightweight protection, branding potential, sustainability, and affordable costs, it’s easy to see why poly mailers are the top choice of fashion retailers.

Fashion sellers can leverage poly mailers to deliver an exceptional unboxing experience by selecting the right size and style, reinforcing them with protective layers, securely sealing them, and customizing their exteriors. Start your e-commerce fashion business; don’t let anything stand in your way. With proper strategies, you can stand out from the crowd and make an impact.


What are the pros and cons of poly mailers versus cardboard boxes for shipping clothing?

Poly mailers are lighter, take up less space, and are more affordable to ship than boxes. However, boxes provide more cushioning for fragile items. Poly mailers are best for soft, durable fabrics like t-shirts and sweaters. For delicate dresses or accessories, a box provides more protection.

How can I make eco-friendly choices when selecting poly mailers?

Look for mailers made from recycled polyethylene or plant-based plastics like PLA. Also, choose recyclable and biodegradable mailers that reduce waste. Recycled cardboard mailers are another green option. Finally, reuse mailers when possible by covering old branding.

What custom printing options are available for poly mailers?

Many vendors offer full-color printing options for poly mailers, so you can include high-quality logos, text, and images. You can also choose custom colors for the mailer material. Printable areas are often limited to one side or section. Work with your vendor to find the right options for your design.

What is the best way to package t-shirts or sweaters in a poly mailer?

For t-shirts, fold the shirt neatly against an interior flap of tissue paper. For sweaters, add a layer of tissue paper both inside and outside the garment. Make sure garments fit snugly with 2-3 inches of room all around. Add an extra reinforcement strip or tape to the seal.