We opened for business in 1989 with a simple goal; to produce responsibly made and sourced bags at great prices, so that reusable becomes a way of life. We started with the ECOBAGS Classic String Bag, a simple lightweight, expandable cotton net bag used in Europe for generations, long before paper and plastic bags. We introduced our bags at the 1990 Earth Day celebration on Sixth Avenue in New York City. The bags were a hit and we sold out in four hours!
We understood that single-use plastic bags were wasteful and costly to the environment. We felt that by bringing our own cloth bags, (BYOB) we could ignite conversations and inspire others to embrace the three R’s, in the order they were created.
We imagined the reusable bag movement could grow. We were part of the first plastic bag bans in the UK (Modbury) and Ireland. We were called "social change agents" and "pioneers" for bringing an untested and unknown concept to market. We started by reaching out to retailers in the natural products industry pre-Whole Foods Market! We believed, as we do today, that bringing your own bags to the store is the first step of many toward creating a world with less waste. Today, there are movements all over world, banning and taxing single-use plastic bags, creating a "reusable-revolution." We are thrilled!
There’s a greater understanding now, that when you "throw away" a single-use plastic bag, there is no "away." If you want to live in a clean environment that means you need to participate in keeping it clean. Local and state governments are crafting legislation. Documentary films like "BagIt" are reaching communities and schools. There’s so much accessible information, to support the importance of bringing your own bag and practicing source reduction, now!
Twenty years ago a few of us brought our own bags to shop. Ten years ago, there were a few of more. In the last five years, there’s been an upswing of people doing it. "Cleaning up the planet one bag at a time.™" is, now, an internationally accepted “practice.”