OK. There is a lot written and said about the pros and cons of plastic bags, the non-woven Green bags, compostable bags, cotton and other natural fibre bags. We all know them. The real problem is not the material they were made of but our consumer’s habits. Recycling is just another form of waste. It still requires power and recourses. Recycling of hydrocarbons is still unreliable and ineffective. And let’s face it – recycling just gives us another excuse for carrying on with the over consumption. The only real solution is reduction and reuse. Doesn’t really matter what your bag is made of as long as you reuse it many, many times. We all have the Power Of One to make a difference.
But what is the biggest challenge for all consumers with the reusable shopping bags? To remember to take them when going shopping. The same old basic problem of Change Management – to break the inertia and get into a new habit. Most people need help to change.
So, to make a real difference and multiply the environmental effects of my products I don’t just make bags. I make bags that people won’t forget to reuse.
Here is how: I make gifts. Give away beautiful personalised handmade shopping bags to all my friends. They are just normal recyclable Green bags (they are coming in all colours) or cotton tote bags, or other pre-used or made out of pre-used materials bags. All I do is to decorate and transform them into beautiful, desirable objects. My friends like them and stick to them, tend to use them and carry them around more often than they would usually do with the uniformed, kind-of-ugly supermarket Green Bags. And so it happens that when they are shopping the bag is already with them so they use it. When they get home they can’t just trow it in the recycle bin, or stash it in the cupboard with the other never-used-again bags as it is a gift and something beautiful and unique, so they keep it separate and use it again next time. Painlessly and without efforts their behaviour has been changed. One bag at a time. Just one Beautiful Bag made the difference.
With every single bag I give to someone I multiply this effect. My friends join me in the boycott of the plastic bags without even knowing it. They change their habits without even noticing. They feel better about themselves and I am happy to share with them my passion for textile, design and colour. The formula is simple but powerful: By transforming the uniformed, ordinary, impersonal, ugly Green bags into something beautiful, unique, personal that is suitable to be given as a gift; a desirable object that people would enjoy and even fashion-aware people would be proud to carry, I help others to move their consumer behaviour one step up the waste hierarchy – from Recycle to Reuse. And I multiply the effects of my own actions. Suddenly it is no longer The Power Of One but The Power Of Many.
I have to admit: I love making those bags. And all that stuff about multiplying my consumer power in waste reduction is just an excuse for making more and more of my Beautiful Bags 🙂
Well, you can see them here.