Next chance: the environmentally friendly way to wrap gifts

A Christmas gift unwrapping session between Gabrielle Huppé and Maude Girard allowed Next Chance, an environmentally conscious holiday packaging and accessories company, to see the light of day.

“As we opened our gifts, we had a strong image of the wrapping paper-filled trash bags ending up on the side of the road and then in the landfill,” explains Gabrielle Huppé, President of Next Chance. We always wanted to start a company that would make a difference.”

A few years ago, statistics showed that Canadians threw away more than 540,000 tons of wrapping paper, ribbon or other wrapping supplies during the holidays.

“Once it is plasticized, metalized or taped, it cannot be recycled. It goes straight to the landfill,” explains Ms. Huppé.

When designing their products, the two life partners were inspired by Furoshiki, a Japanese folding technique using reusable fabric packaging.

“It’s easier than wrapping it in wrapping paper,” she says.

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Gabrielle Huppé (left) and Maude Girard (right) are president and operations manager of Next Chance, respectively.

Next Chance’s goal is for customers to use their fabric packaging multiple times for many years.

“We want it to be used year after year. “We are seeing a beautiful change in people’s behavior,” emphasizes Maude Girard. We conducted a survey among our customers and 80% of them take the packaging back after giving a gift. They end up with their own collection of packaging.”

Their customers also manage to make their purchases at Next Chance profitable.

“In the long term, consumers save money by using the same packaging year after year. You no longer have to buy paper and cabbage at the corner store.

“Our product is high quality and easy to care for.”

Restore the fabric

Gabrielle and Maude use rescued materials for their packaging and other accessories.

“We take overstocks, surplus items and leftovers from local businesses,” explains Gabrielle. We come to really enhance these fabrics.”

They do not have accurate statistics on the amount of material they recover annually. However, she has made steady progress since the company was founded.

“There is an enormous amount of textiles in Quebec,” adds Maude. Every year we recover more and more tissue.”

The two entrepreneurs are not afraid. They did not hesitate to start their project in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.

“Everything was closed, but it allowed us to validate the need on the market,” emphasizes Gabrielle Huppé. The following year we were able to get our product into zero waste stores.”

This year they reached another level of influence as their products can be found at Simons. Next Chance is now receiving orders from across Canada.

“We are a little surprised by the interest from outside Quebec,” they say. We have online orders from places like British Columbia.”

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Since this year, Next Chance products can now also be found at Simons.

A long-term vision

Gabrielle and Maude have no intention of stopping there. You have clear goals for the future of Next Chance.

“Our vision is to be a leader in eco-friendly holiday products,” explains Gabrielle bluntly. The better known our products are, the better people will understand them.

“We are a real solution and a concrete model for sustainable development.”