Hi and welcome to Bag-all!
I am so grateful you are taking your time to find out more about us.
My name is Jennifer Jansch and I started Bag-all because I wanted to be an entrepreneur and at the same time do something for the environment. As a mother of three daughters, I strongly felt I needed to stop THINKING about making a change and start DOING something towards preserving and taking care of our beautiful planet.
One of the things that made the most sense to me was working with the concept of REUSE. When you reuse an item, you don’t have to produce a new item. For instance, if you refill your plastic water bottle, it replaces the new bottle you would otherwise have bought. Reusing saves natural resources required to manufacture items and saves the planet from garbage. And best of all – it is for free so absolutely everyone can do it! Reuse is win-win all around!
The first product I did for Bag-all was the reusable fabric gift bag. The idea was to make bags that could be used instead of traditional gift wrapping (papers require a lot of natural resources and are very toxic to manufacture – and in the end, becomes a garbage in 10 seconds).
I thought that if I could make really cute bags people would make this better choice when wrapping gifts. There are so many advantages to the bags beside the sustainability: The bag itself becomes a gift. If you don’t want to give it away, you can keep it in your family and give it back and forth every time there is a birthday or holiday. They become cheaper than paper after only a few uses and can then be used hundreds of more times. Bags also requires no tape and ribbons etc, with a gift bag you are instantly ready to go and your gift is wrapped in a matter of seconds. And of course, the fabric gift bags produce no garbage – ZERO.
As I really hope each and everyone will start using gift bags I have made a description of how you can make them yourself. Click the PDF in the ABOUT section.
After sewing the first gift bags myself and giving them to friends I quickly realized that people need fabric bags for all sort of things. One friend told me that she put her hairdryer in the gift bag I had given her and someone else told me she put her shoes in the bag. Therefore, I started the Organizing collection. Today we have over one hundred prints and we are constantly adding new ones. Often prints that our customers ask for. So, if you have ideas, comments or questions please don’t hesitate to e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
My team and I love hearing from you and truly value your support!
With love and gratitude
Bag-all’s staff interviews Jennifer
Let’s start with some facts. Where do you live?
In New York City, except for the summers when we live in Sweden.
Family: Yes, husband Micke, three daughters Celeste 16, Margaux 11, and Caprice (aka Cappi) 8 and the 18-year-old abyssinian cat Ping.
Speaking of family, why do we see your family members in Bag-all’s pictures so often?
Because when I started Bag-all I had very little money. There was no way I could afford to pay models. In Sweden, we have this great saying: One takes what one has. So, I used my family as models because they were around – and for free haha.
Where did you grow up?
I am originally from Sweden, but I grew up partly in Japan and in Paris.
What is Bag-all?
We usually say that Bag-all is a brand that believes we can all do something for the environment by taking small stylish steps. Meaning, if we all start thinking more about reusing rather than purchasing new things all the time, we save natural resources and reduce garbage. Being environmentally conscious should not equal bad design.
Why is reuse so important?
Because it is the easiest and cheapest way to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We all have to face it: there is no way we can keep on consuming the way we have, while population worldwide rises.
Why did you move from Stockholm to NY?
Both my husband and I love New York, the energy and all the opportunities there are here. I felt I needed to be in New York to achieve my full potential. It was a scary thing moving to New York with no real idea of how we were going to support ourselves. But sometimes in life, you just have to jump into the unknown and hope for the best! You can read more about this in my book: Dreamcatcher.
What do you love the most about Bag-all and your business?
I am amazed and so grateful for all the wonderful feedback we get from our customers. Being in the store on Mott Street can be a virtual love bombing! People are so incredibly generous with their praise and support. In addition to meeting people in the store, we get to meet great buyers from across the world. It is so fascinating to do business with people from other cultures. It truly makes me love our planet even more as people are really very decent everywhere. I also love to design and be creative. I feel so lucky to have a studio for that very purpose now.
What tips do you have to those who want to be more environmentally friendly?
No one can do everything right, but everyone can do something. Don’t think that what you do doesn’t matter, each and every one of us combined have a huge impact on the planet.
What is the most fun to do during a workday?
Interacting with people whether it is my staff or buyers or customers.
Where do you find inspiration to your designs?
I get inspires by what I see around me. New York City and particularly Brooklyn inspires me. Bag-all’s studio is located in Bedford Stuyvesant, it is an unlikely melting pot where West Indian culture meets Orthodox Jews meets Hispanics meets us. It’s amazing! Many of my designs come from suggestions from other people. People will ask for something. I then think about it for a while. If I still think about it after a couple of days I start collecting ideas for prints. I will then test them by having them printed in our studio. I always ask myself if this is something I would use. If the answer is yes, I go for it.
Finally, your best New York tips:
New York City Subway! It latterly takes you from awesome beaches and tivoli in Coney Island to Bronx’s amazing zoo and everything in between. But in truth, you don’t have to leave the subway to see the whole world right there in the subway cart.
North part of Central Park. In the summer, there is a gigantic public pool in the north-east corner or the park, as well as a beautiful botanical garden in the same area. In the winter, there is an ice skating rink there.
Harlem shake – the original burger joint. Everything on the menu is amazing and the décor is original 60-ies diner.
Taking a walk along Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. Start uptown in the afternoon and enjoy the sunset on your way down.
And of course, walking around in Nolita area and checking out the small independent brands such as Bag-all. Hope to see you all there!
Some facts and figures about gift wrapping
Each holiday season there is 4 million tons of extra garbage created by gift wrapping in the US alone.
50% of paper consumed in U.S is on gift wrap and decorating products.
If families reused just two feet (less than a meter) of string for their gift wrapping, it would be 38 000 miles saved. That’s enough to tie a bow around the Earth.
Bag-all is a company that believes we can all do something for the environment in small, stylish, steps. Reusing is one of the easiest ways of reducing garbage and saving natural resources. Therefore, Bag-all has created a range of fabric gift bags as well as organizing/travel bags and shopping totes, which can be used and reused hundreds of times. Please reuse – waste reduce!
Bag-all, 219 Mott Street, New York. Bag-all.com