Hello, I'm Rieva, and I'm on a mission with What a Bag!
From a young age, I've had a deep love of animals, plants, and nature. After high school, I couldn't decide on a career direction, until I took an environmental studies course. I finished my schooling, and began working in environmental consulting, and then in the public service. I really enjoy my work, but have wanted (and want) to do more.
My awareness of plastic pollution has grown over time. I remember learning about the great pacific garbage patch, which stopped me in my tracks. I've also learned that plastic pollution is not just in oceans, and in areas outside of Canada or North America - it's everywhere. The devastating consequences of single-use plastics on our waterways and water bodies, wildlife, and our own health can't be ignored. And while there is so much information and data on these negative impacts, less than 10% of all plastics are recycled, and global plastics use is projected to almost triple by 2060, at 1231 million tonnes yearly.
I recognized that I had been consuming without recognizing the impacts, and consequences of my actions. I started to reduce plastic use at home and in my daily life, for example by using reusable bags and coffee cups, and weaning myself off of plastic wrap. But I wanted another way to make a difference.
A Turning Point
In the summer of 2017, while camping with close friends in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, I shared my idea of making reusable produce bags. Do you think people will be interested? I asked. Would they use reusable bags instead of the ones on the roll at the grocery store? There was only one way to find out! I made a few different kinds of bags from new and upcycled fabrics, and attended an artisan market at my son's school. I remember being nervous and thinking that no one would be interested. But I was wrong! It is great to be wrong sometimes - and I would never have even tried without the support and encouragement of my friends, husband, son, and family!
Since then I have researched and introduced products other than reusable bags, such as reusable facial wipes, reusable un-paper towels, and coffee filters. The journey has been challenging, and so much fun. I love attending markets, and connecting with people and sharing ideas. I am also very lucky to have my mom on board for the ride. With her incredible knitting skills, great ideas, fantastic colour combinations, and her admirable willingness to try anything, and to get things done, she is truly my role model!
I invite you to come along for the ride on a journey of awareness, and action. What a bag! offers a way to make a difference. Change is not only possible, it is essential. The products we offer are high quality, and of thoughtful design, to empower each of us to "be the change". Together, we can lead by example, to create a world that is kinder to our planet.