Eco Thank You Re-imagining Reusable Shopping Bags project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$110 pledged of $25,000 goal
backers
By Virginia Bahs (aka GingerB)
$110 pledged of $25,000 goal
backers

About

With the Eco Thank You, GingerB (that's me) has re-imagined the reusable bag and produced a reusable shopping bag that is truly an equivalent replacement for the plastic bag that blends modern functionality with classic good looks. 

As I was pursuing graduate studies in sustainability one of the requirements was that I come up with a sustainability project. I was unable to complete the degree, but the Eco Thank You reusable shopping bag would have been my capstone project.

One day while standing in line at my local big box retailer with a cart full of items I noticed that I was the only one in line with reusable shopping bags. That started me thinking about the reasons for the resistance to adopting a sustainable practice as simple as the reusable shopping bag. This led to the idea for the Eco Thank You reusable shopping bag.

I went home, drew up a pattern using Kraft paper and sewed up a sample. I found a bagging station online and ordered one to test it with. It worked perfectly!!! Family said I should patent it. Did the research and obtained a provisional patent. Next, I took the pattern and some material to a seamstress friend of mine and had a couple samples made up. I found a consultant, a fashion design professor from my Alma-mater, Arizona State University, fashion industry entrepreneur and consultant and paid for a session with them to learn about the manufacturing process and industry lingo. I purchased a membership on Makers Row to help with finding a manufacturer that would make them for me. Makers Row was invaluable with this step. Found an excellent manufacturing partner that worked up a prototype for me. I now had just enough funds available to have my manufacturing partner produce a small batch for me. 

I'm here to secure funding to get this business off and running and get the word out about this product. 

The Eco Thank You reusable shopping bag is a solution that

  • Is sturdy, efficient, roomy, and can be washed and reused repeatedly.
  • Is 100% organic cotton; Made in the U.S.A. 
  • Has wide sturdy handles for comfortable carrying when loaded
  • Features two deep side gussets that expand for a generous capacity, easily filled with a grab and go functionality.
  • You can pre-mount one or more bags onto the bagging station
  • Breakaway stabilizer loops front and back allow the bags to be mounted quickly opened, loaded and quickly removed to access the next bag
  • Moves you and your purchases through check out and out the door quickly. 

 Actual tests of the Eco Thank You reusable shopping bag at the local big box retailer delighted the cashiers and other shoppers. The cashiers said things like "It’s the nicest reusable I have ever seen", "I wish everyone used these", "Where did you get them". And I continue to get great feedback when I use mine. 

As more and more areas worldwide are considering banning, taxing or other means of controlling the use of plastic bags the Eco Thank You, as an equivalent replacement for plastic bags is a Global opportunity to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags. 

The Eco Thank You addresses and provides a solution to the majority of reasons that reusable shopping bags are not widely adopted or used unless the "better living through legislation" option is exercised forcing citizens to adopt them.   

Below I have highlighted the top reasons people don't use reusable shopping bags. The Eco Thank You solves all but the first reason but we're working on it.

Reason number one is inconvenience. You must remember to bring them with you.

The second biggest reason is inefficiency.There are a multitude of types, styles, shapes, materials and sizes and they are all inefficient when compared to the efficiency of the plastic bag on the retailers bagging station.

  • Using these inefficient styles of reusable shopping bags adds additional checkout time for wait time for other customers waiting to check out as the cashier wrestles with holding the bag open with one hand and ringing up the purchases and trying to get them into the bag with the other.
  • Only one bag one at a time can held and loaded (there is no second, third or more bags mounted on the station ready for loading).
  • Their handles that are not oriented correctly for using with the bagging station
  • If they do sit on the base of the bagging station and have a loop that attaches to hold them open, you must lift the fully loaded bag in order to disengage the loop.
  • Many, especially the more prolific tote style, have thin handles that make them uncomfortable to carry for any distance when loaded.

Some of the currently available reusable bags may be cheap to purchase but are flimsy and may only withstand one washing so they too end up in landfills. 

Wide spread use of plastic bags is unsustainable. Instead of bio-degrading they break down into smaller and smaller pieces over time, a LONG LONG time. It never truly "goes away" and continues to take up space in landfills, clutter landscapes, and clog and pollute waterways.

According to the world counts, plastic bag use globally is up to about 5 Trillion this year. That’s just under one hundred and sixty thousand (160,000) bags per second Only 1 of every 200 bags, or less than 1% get recycled and around 10% will end up in the oceans Wildlife and Livestock ingest them choke on them and die from it. 

It is estimated that 100 billion plastic bags per year pass through the hands of U.S. consumers alone; or about one bag per person each day. If laid end-to-end, could circle the equator one thousand three hundred and thirty (1,330) times. If banned in the US alone, this would present a significant market for an equivalent reusable replacement. 

My goal is to motivate consumers to buy and use reusable bags for all their shopping by making them more efficient to load, grab and go. 

The list below includes but is not limited to items that the funding will be used for.

  •  Business startup costs 
  • Professional branding (Logos, brand colors, fonts, pictures, social media etc..) 
  • Advertising 
  • Office expenses Booth fees to sell at local community events 
  • Technology 
  • Professional web presence (store) 
  • Production and manufacturing costs for larger production batches to reduce the per-piece price and lower wholesale/retail prices.
  • Expanding the variety of colors, artwork, and prints for future batches to offer consumers more choices.

Risks and challenges

I lacked funds to buy the expertise and technology to make a polished pitch here. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have and hope for the best. So I may not have the most polished Kickstarter project campaign you have ever seen, but everything you see here I did myself (laboriously I assure you). Why? Because I believe 100% that with sufficient funding to gain market exposure, the Eco Thank You has the potential to be a top seller.

You only need to Google “reusable shopping bags” to know that the market is flooded with reusable bags many of them much cheaper the Eco Thank You.

The Eco Thank You is and will continue to be a quality reusable bag not a cheap bag that falls apart after a few washings. It will be a one and done for many years to come. I’ve been using mine for over six months and they are as crisp and sturdy as the day I got them from the manufacturer.

I have had a small batched produced and need funding to bring it to market properly. I believe once the word gets out there about how different the Eco Thank You reusable bag product is from the reusable bags currently on the market it will be a hit with people that looking to lower waste and opt for reusable.

Thank you for your support.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Friend of the Eco Thank You Certificate

    Includes:
    • Official Friend of the Eco Thank You Certificate
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Social Media follow

    provide username/handle and @ecothankyou will follow you on twitter and/or Instagram

    Includes:
    • Follow on twitter and instagram
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    One Medium Sized Food Quality Muslin Bag

    Medium food quality muslin drawstring bag for bulk foods (rice, beans, coffee) purchases
    approximately 10" x 8"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One Large Sized Food Quality Muslin Bag

    Large food quality muslin drawstring bag for produce or bulk foods (rice, beans, coffee) purchases
    approximately 10" x 12"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Get the Product

    1 Eco Thank You Reusable Bag and a thank you for supporting my project.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Get more of the product

    Two (2) Eco Thank You reusable shopping bags and a BIG THANK YOU you for supporting my project.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Get even more of the product!

    Five (5) Eco Thank You reusable shopping bags and a SUPERSIZED THANK YOU for supporting my project.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)