The initial idea for a bag came one day when I had been out for lunch....
I needed to get a few groceries on the way home after lunch, and didn't want to drag around a supermarket shopper to said lunch. Not cool- nor did it go with my outfit! So I got my groceries, of course only going into the shop for a few, came out with a few more, piled high in my arms, with just a teensy purse that wasn't holding anything.
As you can imagine, it didn't end well.
And why is it always the yoghurt/fruit/other delicate items that hit the ground first?
So it got me thinking...what about a bag that was stylish enough to take out for lunch, but sturdy enough to hold a quick grocery shop?
Then this got me thinking- this bag in its very design should be sustainable.
Pockets to store produce bags.
Pockets to store extra fold up shoppers for bigger shops.
A pocket for a water bottle, or to store your reusable coffee cup after your first coffee of the day on the way to hit the shops.
A zip up pocket for purse, keys, glasses.
And the big one, that may only matter to me- a pocket to store my reusable straw! Please tell me I'm not the only one who wants a juice or smoothie when out shopping, but hates that my favourite smoothie shop still has plastic straws?
So, as this bag evolved, a few things became evident. I needed to consider function, form, but also have sustainability at the fore.
-This bag had to have strong wrap around handles to support any size shop.
And as I have wandered around waste clothing facility, Textile Recyclers Australia, one day, I discovered bags of waste leather. I had no plans to use leather. But it was waste, it was a beautiful natural product, and I really should try use this waste as a resource. So the C.O.O.P logo patch and hand stitched handles were added. Thanks goodness for You-Tube teaching me how to deboss and hand-stitch leather!!!
-The bag needed a base shaper to allow it to sit flat whilst loading groceries into it. And of course, this had to be sustainable! And while my biz decisions have not always been obvious, or economical, they certainly have been sustainable. And this was how I ended up with natural cork and rubber yoga mat bases.Yep- you heard right. Both are natural products, with cork having the added bonus of being anti-microbial, so any spills that occur are not a problem.
-The internal zipper from YKK is made from recycled waste plastic and is another way to use waste a resource.
- This bag is designed and manufactured in Australia!
So straight up- yes this adds to the cost. But what it also guarantees is supporting Australian craftspeople practice their trade, whilst being paid ethically. Less carbon footprint through travel miles of goods. Excellent quality of workmanship, and the ability to quickly repair and return if needed. It allows me to order smaller MOQ's (minimum order quantity), so I won't need to have waste product if they don't sell. And at this point in my business journey, it feels like the right thing to do.
-And of course, the fabric used is recycled waste plastic fabric. So taking waste out of landfill -which as it degrades, gives off green house gasses, which lead to increased global warming, and we know the s*&t that is happening to our planet because of this! Floods, drought, fires anyone- and using it as a resource.
So, just a bag, but with BIG ambitions.
Basically, this bag wants to help you save the planet. And to help you be a little bit more sustainable every time you use it.
Because we cant all be perfect eco warriors, but I believe every little thing we do can all help our planet recover.
What a clever bag!