Saving our planet; one bag at a time

November 20, 2008

Our reusable gift bags and wine bags can make this a green holiday season

Studies indicate that gift wrapping adds an additional one million tons per week to US landfills. If people only switched to our reusable gift bags and wine bags, the US could achieve a huge saving in landfill waste!

See the line at www.badlani.com/bags

November 17, 2008

Add an element of fun or style to your reusable bags

I’ve been convinced of this for a while now. Even as more people begin to switch to reusable bags instead of plastic or paper bags, they’re not really satisfied with just plain jane cloth bags. That’s why we offer so many customization options to our customers.

This story from the Bristol Press highlights the point.

Customers were bringing reusable bags from other stores into Stew Leonard stores, asking for something similar in a shopping bag in place of the canvas bags the store had been offering.

Stew Leonard’s youngest daughter, 13-year-old Madison Leonard, picked up on the idea. She surveyed more than 600 customers about what they wanted in a reusable shopping bag, including which materials and designs appealed to them.

“Overall, customers told us they wanted a fun design,” Madison Leonard said.

Here’s the whole story.

By SCOTT WHIPPLE

Herald Press staff

NEWINGTON - It took a 13-year-old girl to discover what customers wanted in a reusable shopping bag.

Bob Warren, Stew Leonard’s director of operations at its Newington store, said customers were bringing reusable bags from other stores into Stew Leonard stores, asking for something similar in a shopping bag in place of the canvas bags the store had been offering.

Stew Leonard’s youngest daughter, 13-year-old Madison Leonard, picked up on the idea. She surveyed more than 600 customers about what they wanted in a reusable shopping bag, including which materials and designs appealed to them.

“Overall, customers told us they wanted a fun design,” Madison Leonard said. “Their favorite was actually the cow-print bag, which is ironic, because it was the one design my grandfather [who founded Stew Leonard's] originally told me to take out of the survey. Good thing we listen to our customers.”

Madison Leonard said another winner was the “Eat Right, Eat Healthy” design; it was a favorite among both kids, who liked the design, and their parents, who liked the nutritional message.

Since Stew Leonard’s began offering reusable canvas bags last year, and since then the stores’ overall plastic bag use is down 15 percent. To date, more than 80,000 reusable bags have been sold in Stew Leonard’s four stores, with sales up 300 percent over last year. In Newington, Stew Leonard’s sold 12,237 bags and has given away 4,629 since Jan. 1.

Last week, Stew Leonard’s introduced a new type of reusable bags in its Newington store, replacing the canvas bags. The new version is made from more than 50 percent recyclable materials; the inside core is a material made from recycled plastic bottles, while the outside film is a polypropylene material that makes it water repellent and

easily wiped clean. The bags, the size of a standard paper bag, are much more durable than plastic or paper and can hold up to 40 pounds and be reused numerous times.

The three distinct designs include:

The popular cow motif. Madison Leonard says the animals “are all the rage, and this black and white cow-print bag is ‘moovelous.’”

The Healthy Way. Remind yourself to “Eat Right, Eat Healthy,” with a bag that features an illustration from Stew Leonard’s nutrition storybook for kids, “The Healthy Way.” The design is on a white background with lime green trim.

And the easily recognizable Stew Leonard’s logo. Customers show their love of farm-fresh foods by sporting a golden yellow bag imprinted with a subtle Stew Leonard’s script logo as a background pattern, with a prominent “kid and cow” logo in the center.

“We want to encourage customers to be green as much as possible,” explained Meghan Flynn, vice president of public relations for Stew Leonard’s. “The best way to do that is to offer these reusable bags. Paper isn’t any better than plastic.”

The new reusable bags are sold for $1.29 each. In addition, customers who spend $200 get a free bag with their purchase. As an incentive, customers who use reusable bags in place of plastic or paper are entered into a monthly drawing to win a $50 Stew Leonard’s gift card. The bags are available in the store and can be ordered online at stewleonardsgifts.com.

Stew Leonard’s is also launching a promotion that builds off the company’s famous “Bags Around the World” wall. Previously, customers received a $3 gift card for sending in creative photos of themselves holding their Stew Leonard’s bag. Now customers who send in a photo of themselves holding one of Stew Leonard’s reusable bags receive a $5 gift certificate.

The average American household uses about 900 plastic bags a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Between all four Stew Leonard’s stores, the company uses 18 million plastic bags a year. Since January, Stew Leonard’s has recycled close to 50,000 pounds of plastic, which translates to about 2.6 million plastic bags. “While it is a great start, the solution is to encourage customers to use reusable shopping bags,” says Bob warren, director of operations.

Warren says paper bags aren’t the answer, either, since it takes more than four times the energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to make a plastic bag. Because they are bulkier, it takes 64 truckloads to deliver all the paper bags Stew Leonard’s needs versus 12 trailer loads for plastic bags. It also takes 91 percent less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper.

“At Stew Leonard’s, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers,” said Stew Leonard Jr. “We hope that by providing functional reusable bags in a choice of fun, colorful designs, customers will be more likely to use them in place of plastic and remember to bring them in every time they shop. We can all make a difference by reducing our use of plastic, one bag at a time.”

Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh-food store, was founded in 1969. It operates stores in Norwalk, Danbury, Newington and Yonkers, N.Y.

Scott Whipple can be reached at swhipple@newbritainherald.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 319.

November 12, 2008

Carrying a plastic bag is now socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

An article today by Linda Stamato talks about how New York and New Jersey are examining the possibility of taxing bags. Her article talks about effectively this has worked in Ireland, where plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

Social pressures of this nature, that reflect on an individual’s own public image and eventually their self-image can be one of the most powerful and effective means of influencing behaviour.

Here’s the article which I have reproduced from the NJ.Com website

The move is on in New York City to save the environment by eliminating plastic bags. By taxing plastic into oblivion, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, is following the lead of many European countries. If he prevails, NYC will become one of the first places in the United States to use a fee to encourage the use of alternative, non-disposable bags at the supermarket and pharmacy. He isn’t alone by the way; there are proposals to assess “plastic bag taxes” pending in Seattle, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Can New Jersey be far behind?

Bloomberg is proposing that a six cent fee be charged (one cent to the store; five cents to the city) for each and every plastic bag. Officials estimate that the fee could generate $16 million a year for the City, but, of course, the idea is not to raise money, it is to change behaviour.

This ubiquitous symbol of urban life, the plastic shopping bag, has all but disappeared in Ireland, or so Elisabeth Rosenthal reported from Dublin some months back in the New York Times. Rosenthal observed that within weeks of the imposition of a 33 cent per bag tax, collected at store cash registers, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. And, within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable–on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.

To put a finer point on this, consider the following from the president of reusablebags.com who founded the company five years ago to promote the issue: ‘Using cloth bags had been seen as an extreme act of a crazed environmentalist… But, now, we see it as something a smart, progressive person would carry.’

In Ireland, that purpose has been accomplished.

So, the lesson on the one hand is this: Charge an unacceptable fee for a practice, a service, a product, and people won’t buy it. If substitutes are available–if alternatives can be used–they will be. Imposing an unacceptable charge, then, can change behavior.

There is a second lesson. Attaching values to an action can reinforce the policy and the behaviour the policy seeks to encourage. Using plastic bags has become something one simply does not do.

So, here we are. On two compelling counts, price and social acceptability (derived from sound economic and environmental values), we may find that the imposition of a fee alters behaviour.

It may take some more time, but, as far as I can see, voluntary efforts get us just so far. Creating incentives to discourage folks from engaging in environmentally harmful practices seems to be the way to go. And, for good measure, while we’re getting there, state coffers can use the funds generated by fees to get us there.

November 10, 2008

Start a new trend from Japan in your markets – minibags

The world’s fashion industry has recognised that Japanese street fashion often points the way to megatrends.

The latest story coming out of Japan is about the sudden popularity of mini-bags. It was carried in the Daily Yomiuri a couple of months back.

Entrepreneurs in countries where fashion is meaningful, would do well to read this story.

Here’s the story:

Minibags, small purses that can hold little more than a mobile phone, wallet or accessories, are one of the latest fashion trends. They come in a wealth of shapes and styles - some with colourful patterns, others with sequins.

You can enjoy them simply as utilitarian totes or as fashion accessories in their own right. They are also handy for tidying up inside your larger bag, as they help you sort out various items.

Concierge Petit, a shop in the Marunouchi building near Tokyo Station, is always crowded with women contemplating a series of Babyroo minibags.

The bag, 20cm by 22cm, is suitable for holding a clutch wallet.

Some Babyroo bags are adorned with illustrations on the cotton fabric while others are glamorously decorated with beads.

The shop deals with more than 50 kinds of Babyroo bags, most of them priced from 2,100 yen (US$20) to 20,000 yen ($187).

Super Planning Co, a company in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, dealing with lifestyle items, launched Babyroo in 2005 as bags handy for office workers to take along when going out for lunch. The variety on offer has increased every season.

The bag comes with a pocket designed to hold train passes and other cards. A shop manager said the products are popular among people of all ages, ranging from teenagers to elderly women.

Heming’s Inc, another company handling household items, started selling its Etoffe minibag in 2005. The bag is characterised by its materials, often Swedish or French fabric, and sophisticated design.

The bag, 20cm by 18 cm by 7cm, is priced from 4,095 yen ($38) to about 20,000 yen ($187).

A spokesperson for the company, based in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, touted Etoffe bags as gorgeous, befitting any party “It is also good when you’re on the move, as you can use it when going to a restaurant, for example” the spokesperson said.

In May, imported households goods shop Plaza began carrying Bag in Bag, a glittering, shiny, polyurethane minibag.

The Bag in Bag is 16cm by 22cm by 7cm. The bag includes a pocket for a mobile phone, and is priced at 2,310 yen ($22). The bag is now stocked at about 70 Plaza outlets.

Many women change their bags to suit what they wear. If you always keep small items in a minibag, it is easy to transfer them from one bag to the other, according to your outfit, said a spokesperson for Plaza Style, the company behind Plaza.

When you buy these minibags from us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how economical they can be. Calculate the potential markups and write to me today - rajiv at badlani dot com.

November 5, 2008

I welcome Obama’s victory for change

Filed under: Environment — Tags: , , , , — Kaajal @ 5:58 pm

This election in the US has been an eye opener to the world. The usually sleazy world of politicking appears to have given way to decency and hope.

Over the last 8 years, America had developed an image of an arrogant selfish nation completely oblivious to basic human values. Run by an old boys’ club devoted to serving the needs of the biggies.

I was one of the few who still insisted that the average American is a sincere, well meaning and progressive human being. But with Iraq and the shenanigans of Wall Street and the financial and oil companies, I was beginning to have doubts whether that good constituency had any say in what America was all about.

But this morning all my good feelings about America came back. To have elected a coloured man who is also an outsider to the Washington establishment as President has established Americans as easily the most progressive thinking people in the world.

I was thrilled to see Barrack Obama’s first speech after he was clearly the winner. America is going to have a leader who is a decent human being, a thinking man, open minded, mature and a man who seems to think calmly and with a humane dimension.

This will lead America to greater glory and allow it to lead the world out of the mess it was quickly getting into. I suspect the old boys’ network will have their influence substantially curtailed.

It was equally heartening to see McCain’s graceful concession speech. I wish our politicians would learn some grace instead of spewing venom all the time, expressing and causing hatred amongst our people.

Clearly we have a long way to go towards become a “civil” society. I’m glad America will now be able to set an example.

Barrack Obama also looks like a guy who takes environmental issues seriously and I suspect we will soon see some progress towards curtailing the use of the trillions of plastic bags Americans use and throw away.

What does your bag say about you?

Australian fashionista and media star Eisman Kathryn, who earlier wrote a bestseller titled how to tell a man by his shoes, has just released a witty sequel called How to Tell a Woman by her Handbag.

Here’s what the publisher’s website (Penguin Australia) says about it.

What does your bag say about you? Does your ‘it’ bag reveal you to be a style-obsessed fashionista who will do anything or anyone to get ahead? Are you the floral straw-bag girl with squeaky clean hair and a heart full of dirty secrets? Perhaps you’re the mink purse-carrying minx who has turned divorce into a profession, or the briefcase-wielding high-flyer whose favourite form of exercise is climbing the corporate ladder?

With forensic precision and cutting wit, Kathryn Eisman helps us to identify our own handbag personas and those of our family, friends and foes. From the ‘I don’t mind being daggy as long as I’m comfortable’ bum-bag lover to the Hermes-clutching-heiress, we are all bag ladies - now it’s time to discover exactly which one.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

But when you think about it, the shopping bag people use says a lot about them. With the growing awareness of the harm that plastic bags do, being seen with your shopping in a plastic bag could do serious harm to your public image.

November 4, 2008

The answer is jute shopping bags

Filed under: Environment — Tags: , , , — Kaajal @ 3:57 pm

In an article titled An Inconvenient Bag from the Wall Street Journal, author Ellen Gamerman speaks of how these supposedly ecological polypropylene bags could actually be harmful for the environment.

She’s right. Even though they are reusable, they aren’t as strong as people make them out to be. Any sharp edge and it will rip right apart.

And they will take as long if not longer than ordinary plastic bags to biodegrade. In theory they are recyclable, but hardly anyone actually recycles them (the prevailing rate is less than 1%).

Cotton, she says, is equally suspect because of the amount of chemicals and water required while growing cotton.

Given all this, the ideal answer is jute. Jute grows wild and doesn’t do any harm to the environment at all, and in the process of going from plant to bag, provides employment and a livelihood to thousands of poorer people in India.

Jute is also a very, very sturdy fabric and will last much longer than either polypropylene or cotton.

Earlier people would laminate jute with a layer of plastic to render it stiff and water-resistant and that was seen to compromise its ecological relevance, but now (thanks to a British company called D2W) we are able to laminate it with a plastic that will also biodegrade.

Jute bags could be the answer to this thoughtful debate, but my impression is that most Americans aren’t very familiar with this fabric. For them, it would be useful for me to point out that jute is a cousin of hemp and linen and shares many characteristics with those materials.

Here’s the original article I read.

An Inconvenient Bag
The Wall Street Journal/Associated Press - Published: November 3, 2008

The green giveaway of the moment - the reusable shopping bag - is a case study in how tricky it is to make products environmentally friendly.

It’s manufactured in China, shipped thousands of miles overseas, made with plastic and could take years to decompose.

The bags usually are printed with environmental slogans as well as corporate logos and pitched as earth-friendly substitutes for the billions of disposable plastic bags that wind up in landfills every year. Home Depot distributed 500,000 free reusable shopping bags last April on Earth Day, and Wal-Mart gave away one million. One line of bags features tags that read, “Saving the World One Bag at a Time.”

But well-meaning companies and consumers are finding that shopping bags, like biofuels, are another area where it’s complicated to go green.

“If you don’t reuse them, you’re actually worse off by taking one of them,” said Bob Lilienfeld, author of the Use Less Stuff Report, an online newsletter about waste prevention. And because many of the bags are made from heavier material, they’re also likely to sit longer in landfills than their thinner, disposable cousins, according to Ned Thomas, who heads the department of material science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Used as they were intended, the totes can be an environmental boon, vastly reducing the number of disposable bags that do wind up in landfills. If each bag is used multiple times - at least once a week - four or five reusable bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year, says Nick Sterling, research director at Natural Capitalism Solutions, a nonprofit focused on corporate sustainability issues.

Fueling the reusable-bag boom is the growing unpopularity of the ubiquitous throwaways known as T-shirt bags, so-called because the handles look like the top of a sleeveless T-shirt. An estimated 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year, according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Last year, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the bags from supermarkets and chain drug stores, and this month, the city of Westport, Conn., banned most kinds of plastic bags at retail checkout counters. Boston, Baltimore and Portland, Ore., are also considering bans.

Target has moved displays of its own 99-cent totes to the checkout lanes, to boost the bags’ sales. Rite Aid stocks its branded bags in all of its 4,930 stores. CVS expects to have three million of its own bags in the marketplace within the next year.

Finding a truly green bag is challenging. Plastic totes may be more eco-friendly to manufacture than ones made from cotton or canvas, which can require large amounts of water and energy to produce and may contain harsh chemical dyes. Paper bags, meanwhile, require the destruction of millions of trees and are made in factories that contribute to air and water pollution.

Many of the cheap, reusable bags that retailers favor are produced in Chinese factories and made from nonwoven polypropylene, a form of plastic that requires about 28 times as much energy to produce as the plastic used in standard disposable bags and eight times as much as a paper sack, according to Sterling, of Natural Capitalism Solutions.

Some plastic bags are, in fact, made with recycled materials. The polypropylene bags at Staples are made from 30 percent recycled content, according to company spokesman Mike Black. Target sells six types of bags and Wal-Mart, who pledged to reduce plastic bag waste by about 33 percent in every store world-wide in the next five years, sells a new blue reusable plastic bag for 50 cents, said spokeswoman Shannon Frederick.

Getting people to actually use the bags is another matter. Maximizing their benefits requires changing deeply ingrained behavior, like getting used to taking 30-second showers to lower one’s energy and water use. At present, many of the bags go unused - remaining stashed instead in consumers’ closets or in the trunks of their cars.

Phil Rozenski, director of environmental strategies at the plastic bag maker Hilex Poly Co., believes even fewer people remember to use them.

Dan Fosse, president of Cambridge, Minn.-based Innovative Packaging, produces a line of bags called SmarTote. Each one comes with a bar code that allows stores to track whether it is being reused. The idea, said Fosse, whose bags carry the slogan “Saving the World One Bag at a Time,” is that companies can offer prizes or other incentives to customers who can prove their bag isn’t just collecting dust at home.

Grocery stores are starting to report incremental results, said Fosse, who added the bar codes last spring. “It’s really hard to change customer behavior.”

Sarah De Belen, a 35-year-old mother of two from Hoboken, N.J., says she uses about 30 or 40 plastic bags at the grocery store every week. Late last year, she saw a woman at the supermarket with a popular canvas tote by London designer Anya Hindmarch and promptly purchased one online for about $45.

But De Belen said she soon realized she’d need 12 of them to accommodate an average grocery run. “It can hold, like, a head of lettuce,” she says. Besides, she adds, it’s too nice to load up with diapers or dripping chicken breasts.

November 3, 2008

How sassy can YOU get?

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Tags: , , , — Kaajal @ 6:01 pm

You’ve got to admit that the F word makes that bag interesting and noticeable. If you’d like your own sassy statement on a bag, talk to us today! We’ll enjoy making them for you.

In this article from the Greenmuse.com website Nin J.A.Castle, Creative Director appears to imply that bags imported from the East are inevitably made in sweatshops. I just sent him a mail saying this needn’t be so and that there are some right thinking folks who manufacture bags also and told him he might like to talk to us. My primary motive of course was to tell him how much I enjoyed looking at his sassy punchline on the bag.

Bags with Attitude

First, we overused plastic bags, and then we started using various forms of reusable carrier bags. Then there were designer reusable bags, bags with slogans and even bags with attitudes. English designer Anya Hindmarch, created a worldwide phenomena with her ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bag - later it was revealed that the bag was not quite as green as people first thought, and there was some, well, bag backlash.

We caught up with Nin J.A. Castle, Creative Director at the award-winning fashion design company Goodone’s in the UK, to find out why the bag backlash and can bags really be cheeky and sustainable. Frankly it doesn’t get much sassier than their new reusable bag.

What is the concept behind the bag?

Well the idea came about because we were annoyed by the Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bag. It was promoted in the UK as being a really ethical bag and was such a big craze with people queuing from early in the morning to buy one. Most people thought the bag was made from organic fabric and in a non-sweat factory. This was not the case. So we decided to create our own bag in response, we came up with some really funny slogans like ‘This is not a publicity stunt’ but eventually settled on ‘Do I fucking look like a plastic bag?’ Also we change the handwriting on the bags with every batch we make, so each bag is a limited edition, and has a character all of its own.

It encourages a new consumer group to use less plastic, people who are not so concerned about the environment.

-Nin J.A. Castle

Is the cheeky slogan proving popular? With who?

Yes, the slogan is really popular and surprisingly with people from all age groups. We have had people who are disapproving, telling us off for using a swear word, etc. But at least we provoke a reaction. It’s mainly a younger customer aging from 16 - 35, but we also get a lot of older ladies who buy it for their grandchildren, they often find the bag hilarious and comment on how their daughter will tell them off for buying it.

How does it encourage reducing plastic use?

It encourages a new consumer group to use less plastic, people who are not so concerned about the environment. It is one of Goodone’s aims to not preach to the converted, but encourage the younger generation to think about the environment in a really tongue-in-cheek way.

Do you think the bag might offend people?

I hope not, I hope that people can see the funny side and when we do have complaints we just tell them it is made with organic cotton and manufactured by a charity. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn’t. There is a lot worse on television, even with people walking down the street.

How does art/fashion encourage activism?

Fashion empowers people and gives them confidence. It reflects attitudes and hopefully gets the cultural ball rolling in the right direction.

How much does it cost?

It only costs £8.

How can North Americans get one?

You can order one off the website www.goodone.co.uk - just go to the shop section.

Or you can order them from us in India - www.badlani.com/bags. Infinitely lower priced of course. And not from a sweatshop.


Witty, colourful and practical, the reusable shopper is today’s slogan T-shirt

Filed under: Environment — Tags: , , , , — Kaajal @ 5:13 pm

Britain has really picked up on using reusable bags. This story by Alice Fisher from a recent issue of the Guardian suggests that using plastic should become like wearing a fur coat - something that makes you embarrassed. And it is happening. Up and coming new designer David David says ‘The shopper is a billboard and a status symbol, it’s perfect merchandise.’ 

The new It bags

Witty, colourful and practical, the reusable shopper is today’s slogan T-shirt. Alice Fisher on why ethical consumers and trendsetters are all fans, by Alice Fisher  

It’s weird to think of a supermarket queue making a difference, but that’s what happened last year when a line formed outside Sainsbury’s for Anya Hindmarch’s ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ reusable shopper. The queue convinced the supermarkets that consumers wanted action. It signalled mainstream acceptance of a green initiative: owning a shopper was cool as well as worthy. And at the height of the it-bag trend it showed the fashion world that you didn’t have to make a bag from exotic leather to cause a stampede. 

The shopper was the brainwave of eco movement We Are What We Do. Co-founder Eugenie Harvey had noticed a decrease in plastic bag usage in her native Australia and realised the same shift could happen here. But even she was surprised by how right she was. ‘Those women who queued at Sainsbury’s wouldn’t have gone into the streets and campaigned against plastic bags, but that’s what they did without realising it. Every time we use these shoppers, we’re creating the mood of what’s acceptable behaviour. Using plastic should become like wearing a fur coat - something that makes you embarrassed.’ The figures do show a change in mood. In August, the number of plastic bags handed out at Tesco was 40 per cent lower than for the same period in 2006 . Marks & Spencer saw an 80 per cent drop in the first 10 weeks after they started charging for plastic in May. 

It would be great if we’d truly experienced an eco-epiphany, but the success of the reusable bag is as much about style as saving the planet. Like T-shirts and badges, the square-shaped shopper is the perfect blank canvas for slogans, logos and patterns. Consumers who couldn’t give a toss about the planet love its fashion statement just as much as the green contingent loves its ethical credentials. 

At last month’s Fashion Week the designer shopper replaced the paper goodie bag at shows from Mulberry to Marc Jacobs. Fashion East, a London showcase for young designers, asked new talent David David to create theirs. ‘The shopper is a billboard and a status symbol,’ he says. ‘It’s perfect merchandise.’ 

It’s certainly the first bag taken up by pensioners and hipsters alike, and the green movement hopes there’s life in it yet. Eco entrepreneur Kresse Wesling created Sainsbury’s new reusable bag from used jute coffee bean sacks. 

‘I grew up in Canada,’ she says, ’so I love the shape of the brown paper bag [used to carry shopping in the United States]. That’s what we’ve made: a brown bag, double-wide, with a really long shoulder strap.’ 

Whether this new shopper will get consumers queuing through the night remains to be seen. But it’s safe to say that if the bag is pretty enough and useful enough, there’s someone out there just waiting to use it.

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