june 1990

Randy Clark, president of Sun Sportswear Inc., in Kent, Wash., was unpacking T-shirts one day when he realized that the plastic polybags Sun was using for packaging were overkill, and they were hurting the environment.

So in early 1990 the $73-million company started shipping its shirts, tank tops, and sweats right in the box. The clothes arrive less wrinkled since they don't slide around as much, Clark reports, and customers -- including Walmart, K mart, and Bradlees -- don't miss the plastic.

"It serves the environmental cause," he says, "and it's a cost saver for us." Just how much does it save? At a unit cost of 5¢ per polybag, Sun could wind up saving about $37,500 a year.