From the outset of this project, we knew that the idea of shopping bags you BORROW, and then BRING BACK, would take some getting used to.
All other bag libraries we've followed have had the same experience: bags are borrowed.. being brought back, less so!
(Perhaps especially with the sudden increase in 'reusable' bags being given away in a rush by companies to quickly replace their 'single use' plastic bags with (slightly) more durable alternatives, to appear to be doing the responsible thing.)
We're supper happy people love our bags, and want to keep reusing them! But the downside is that it's difficult to keep pace replacing them, so people can still access a good quality bag at times when they need them.
Due to the costs involved in making the bags (even with free materials and volunteers sewing them), and the time it takes to make them for our small pool of dedicated volunteers, we need to look at how we can continue the project in a sustainable way, to avoid burning out financially, or personally.
I've always believed that for every problem, there is a creative solution! So this is not a doom and gloom 'we cannot keep doing this' story. This is a 'pivot in direction' story.
Our Bought To Support bags are continuing to get great support from our stockists, and from people who visit the studio. The bags that we sell directly, mean that we can use the extra margin which usually goes to the stockist to help offset their costs, to offset the cost of making the Borrow and Bring Back bags... in short:
For each 'bought to support' bag we sell,
Bags for Good co-ordinator, Fiona Jenkin, recording bag adventures on the mission to reduce textile waste, reduce plastic, and build friendships.