Imagine this: you go to the grocery store, you buy a bunch of potatoes by putting them in a plastic bag provided by the store. You bring them home and put them in your fridge in the same bag.
No where in that scenario does it seem like you have a need for anything different, right? (Spoiler: wrong!) Necessity is often the mother of invention, but what about when "necessary" is a matter of perspective? There are a lot of terribly unsustainable things in day to day life that have become socially accepted norms, that when we're not living consciously, we may not question. Historically, it has taken a small group of people, sometimes even just one, to call us all out on our irresponsible behaviour and enact change.
In that grocery store scenario, we're sure that many of you had the thought "What about replacing the plastic bag with a reusable alternative?" (At least we hope so!) You're not alone. There is (thankfully) a movement coming more and more alive to end our dependence on plastics and replace them with sustainable materials.
This shift is being championed by a community that isn't so much fed up with this culture of waste as they are hoping everyone else can be persuaded to join our environmentally focused lifestyle. Owners Laurie and Stéphanie of Dans le Sac live as sustainably as possible in all aspects of their lives. So in May of 2016, they set out to launch their business and inspire positive change beyond their own homes. They started Dans le Sac to make it easier for anyone to live a zero waste lifestyle. Now, everyone can take home with them a little piece of their inspiration.
Dans le Sac is a Quebec based company focused on providing natural options for every day household items. Both the company's founders share a passion for beautiful, eco-friendly items that drove them to where they are today. Their mission is pretty simple. They want to design and locally produce beautiful products that "...respect our environment and promote a sustainable lifestyle." Every decision they make considers the environment, from the cotton they choose for their multi-functional bags down to their 100% recycled and recyclable paper packaging printed with plant-based ink.
"We are inspired by nature and we want to preserve it."
Taking their mission a step beyond, they designed their Merci bags from which $1 of each sale is donated to the Environnement Jeuness Organization, supporting educational programs that involve youth in waste reduction projects. They chose this particular organization to stay consistent with their values, and because they "...believe that education is the key to preserving the environment."
When asked what they thought was the easiest way to start living a conscious, ecological lifestyle, their approach is so easy anyone can do it: "Start with what feels right for you. Is it switching to eco-friendly cleaning products? Starting to compost? Could you buy in bulk or cook instead of buying pre-prepared single wrap products? All these actions can make a difference. You have to take your time but you also have to really give it a chance. You will inspire other people to do the same!" They want you to create good habits, like remembering your reusable bags to take to the store, and choosing only ecologically produced options for anything you bring into your home. If you practice mindfulness in this way, it will eventually become second nature.
Both of these amazingly creative and conscious entrepreneurs take pride in having built an eco-friendly business from the ground up, giving themselves the opportunity to choose the direction and speed of growth of the business. In the coming year, both Laurie and Stephanie will be embarking on a new chapter in their lives: motherhood. They feel lucky that the jobs they have built for themselves will allow them to balance work with the demands of starting a family. When the moment arrives, they hope to take time to connect with their little ones, although they will probably never take their business owner hats off. This new step might even inspire new products to be added to their collection!
We love that Dans le Sac not only promotes a plastic-free, zero waste life, but that it is woman created and led. We didn't have plastic at the dawn of time, and we don't need it now. Let us follow these inspiring women and those like them into a sustainable future. It will be beautiful there.
Photo Credits: Dans Le Sac