So how did Envirosax start? Well, we have to rewind the clock for 17 years. Yep, we need to go back to 2004. When plastic bags were the norm, the term "Going Green" had not yet been coined, and the internet was fairly new. In fact, most SM businesses didn't have a website! Furthermore, companies didn't see the importance of sustainability, and eco-friendly promotional products weren't even a figment of people's imagination!
It all started from a kitchen table in an eco-house in the rainforest in Queensland, Australia. I was a stay-at-home mom with three children aged 7, 2, and 6m. My background is in garment construction and design. (Fun fact, I used to be a milliner!)
Supermarkets had started selling bright green non-woven polypropylene bags with a single color screen print - branded tote bags in a vivid chemical green colorway. Two things struck me - firstly, they were damn ugly! Secondly, non-woven polypropylene is harmful to the environment as it breaks down easily, leaving a toxic residue - plus the carbon footprint to produce is a huge environmental concern. Definitely not the eco-friendly promotional product that supports the environment - but people were buying them in droves!
So I got my sewing machine out, and the first lot of bags were standard canvas totes - with screen-printed artwork from local artists. While these bags were beautiful, they did not solve the problem of being easily transportable. To have something small, that would fit easily inside my purse was essential to me as a mom with a baby and a toddler. There were a couple of foldable branded tote bags on the market in 2004, but these were far and few, and there were none with designs on them!
Enter Envirosax! The prototype for Envirosax was born in 2004 with a Retro Graphic design, and I still use one from this series to this day! This brings me to how long these bags last. In a world where items have a short life span and are intended to be replaced - household items and clothing included, I wanted to create something that would last. Because I believe in buying quality, making things last, and not throwing things away into landfills. In fact, I re-waterproofed the seams on my 12-year-old tent last weekend!
The first Envirosax production run went ahead in 2004, and we are using items from that very first production run. This means that we are using a bag that is 17 years old, and it's still going strong.
We also made sure that we were creating something that was environmentally sustainable in terms of production and not just starting a reusable item. Eco-friendly inks, sustainable printing methods, ethically produced using a well cared for labor force - were all particulars that we considered.
Since 2004, Envirosax has been sold in 53 countries, plus graced the arms of celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Justin Timberlake, and Malia Obama. With each bag sold saving over 350 plastic bags per year, I'm so proud that we have created a product that continues to have an everlasting positive impact on the environment.
This year we invite you; local businesses, corporations, educational institutes, and NGOs to Go Green by offering something sustainable that promotes Zero Waste and is a durable and long-lasting marketing tool! We invite you to try Envirosax!