The Fruity Sacks Story
“It probably sounds a bit lofty but I would love to think that I am helping people create a healthier earth that will be a little bit better for our children and their children. A little less lofty perhaps is that it would be nice if we could all do our fruit and vegetable shopping guilt free.”
After moving to the Far North Coast of NSW with our young family for a healthier lifestyle I became acutely aware that whenever I shopped for fresh fruit and vegetables I would inevitably arrive home with a handful of thin plastic bags. If I was lucky I would be able to use them again once.
Plastic bags were yet another thing to clutter my home. I felt bad and frustrated about this because I knew it was so wasteful as well as harmful to the environment.
I realised that what I needed to solve the problem was a reusable bag. They existed for grocery shopping but the difference here was that I needed to come up with something that was not only strong and long lasting, it also needed to be light weight and see-through.
I came up with the idea of a reusable mesh polyester bag, especially for fruit and vegetable shopping. It’s first incarnation was the same shape and style as a plastic bag, only better because it could be reused hundreds of times. These were great bags! A lot of people asked me for bags with a drawstring and this addition made the bags far more versatile.
I realised that using the bags myself, I could make a small difference to the environment every time I shopped. I’m not a sewer and so even though the bags are really simple I needed to get someone else to make them for me. I felt sure there must be so many people out there with the same problem and the best way to have a huge impact on the environment would be if every household could use them. I have always had a natural leaning to want my own business. In the past, I have had my own natural therapies and counselling businesses.
"It is important to me that my business involves something I can stand by and feel proud of."
I feel as though I have created something that I can truly feel good about. I would love to see Fruity Sacks in every household, in every part of the world where people go fruit and vegetable shopping. Even better, I would love to read reports in the media that scientists have recorded significant decreases in greenhouse gas emissions and quantities of landfill and that there are no more creatures from our seas and birdlife dying because they have ingested plastic bags…in large part because we reuse our fruit and veg shopping bags for years to come.
"I am helping people create a shopping experience they can feel good about and I’m helping people create a single use plastic bag free home and life."
I know I am helping people because I get great feedback. For some people the main appeal has been to keep their home tidy and plastic bag free. For others, it’s about decreasing landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. For others, they are a way to decrease the chance of marine creatures and birds dying after ingesting plastic bags.
Some people become almost as passionate about them as me-they buy loads so that they can give them to friends and family. Many know I am newish to the business world and make great suggestions about stores and markets that they think Fruity Sacks should be in. People offer to introduce me to contacts in stores and they make suggestions on how to promote the bags in social media.
I have been genuinely touched by the goodwill shown towards me and Fruity Sacks. I made the bags for fruit and vegetables but it turns out people have found a multitude of other uses for them-travel, storing socks, general shopping for those times when people have forgotten their other bags but have their Fruity Sacks in their handbag, storing the bath toys, making nut milk (frequent requests have led me to create a bag specifically designed for making nut milk), bookmarks (who would have thought) and wrapping children’s school lunches.