cosilk Bags strive to provide affordable, functional, practical, beautiful, long lasting shopping and other bags to specifically reduce plastic bag use. There is no ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ involved in the design process – they are meant to last for as long as possible, and eliminate as many plastic bags as possible, whilst bringing great satisfaction to the user.
Ecosilk Bags were created in 1999 by Emily Hay, who was dismayed by the widespread acceptance of plastic bag use in society, and the lack of viable alternatives. Whilst this phenomenon has completely changed to date in 2017, with a variety of reusable shopping bags now available, back then there were almost no other options than to use plastic bags.
As a pattern-maker/fashion designer, Emily developed the basic design of a singlet plastic bag, using a durable nylon fabric called parachute silk and advanced sewing machining methods for strength. After trialling the bags for two years and finding them to be ideal in every way, she started the business – Ecosilk Bags – in January 2001, with some initial help from a friend. The bag production began on the kitchen table, where they were cut and machined by Emily, but by 2005 had grown to mass production in China. The first bags were sold in local health food shops, and then expanded to include gift shops, book shops, post offices and printing for corporate and government departments.
The bags are sold throughout Australia and in a small number of shops in the UK and Canada, and small scale distribution in the US. New distributors in New Zealand are also working hard to expand the market there. The business is currently operated from Emily’s property in Barkers Vale, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia.