It’s fair to say that we can all agree that single use plastic bags, spoons, cups and other products are not ideal for the environment and we should reduce our usage of them generally. Much of the worlds oceans and animals are filled with micro plastics which causes great stress on the food chain and trickles right up to the food we consume as humans. Reducing or removing single use plastics entirely from our day to day life can be possible with planning and supporting local businesses like gogoBags!
gogoBags was founded in 2010 by a mother and daughter team to find a way to replace the plastic products that their kids were using to bring lunch to school. Having first launched at the Christmas Craft Market in North Vancouver. In this detailed interview article we get to chat with co-founder Anahita Shahrvini to get to know her better for our readers and how you can take advantage of the great products at gogoBags! They are now also offering face masks to help people keep safe with covid19.
|How did you get started with gogoBags and what do you like about operating in North Vancouver?|
|In the summer of 2010 I came up with the concept of gogoBags and in November of that year together with my mom we launched at a Christmas Craft Market in North Vancouver. I needed a safe reusable bag to send snacks to school with my then kindergartener. I needed to trust the fabric and manufacturing 100%. I was also looking for something meaningful for my mom to do to get her to feel at home so she was the first one to make them by hand and still makes them today. |
The main idea was that the bags could be washed and reused, easy to care for and enjoyable enough to have a full collection at home for everyday use, and of course to avoid plastic waste and wrappers. The Snack Bags, for example, make it easier to buy in bulk and take snacks with you on to the go, this way I save money and help the environment. North Vancouver’s community is vibrant and beautiful, we are very proud to call it home. It has a little bit of everything and that makes each business and project more meaningful in a very special way.
|What are the products, services and brands that you offer to customers?|
|We offer kitchen reusable bags that include Salad Keepers, Fresh Celery Bags, Fresh Bread Bags, Mushroom Bags and Mesh Produce Bags to take with you to the market, all to avoid plastic waste and to keep food fresh. We also have On-the-Go Bags for snacks and to take reusable straws and toothbrushes with you. These are the Snack Bag Sets, the Straw Bags and the Toothbrush Bag. |
People frequently ask me why they need a bag to keep their food fresh, the answer is that with The Salad Keeper for example, the fabric is 100% cotton that helps regulate moisture so that the leaves won’t get slimy. The Fresh Salad, Celery and Mushroom Bags are made with food safe fabric that is waterproof on the outside yet breathable enough to keep the veggies fresh. It was a long and complicated process with a lot of testing to come with the right combination of fabrics, sizes and designs, but it was worth it because now we are very proud of of them. 10 years later, our clients keep wanting more even though they still have the ones from years ago since they last so long.
It’s funny because the fabrics are so durable we need to figure something out (laughs). But in all seriousness, they make great gifts, we usually get comments on how wonderful they are to gift people. gogoBags strives to provide options to lower pollution with unnecessary plastic like produce plastic bags and disposable sandwich bags. We also promote keeping foods fresh for longer to avoid food waste. We have adjusted to this pandemic by using the resources already available to us like sewing machines and fabrics to make reusable masks. They are also available in our website at manufacturer’s cost which means this is our contribution to the community in hard times.
Also, we recently launched the Ambassador’s Club, a program where Canadians can promote our products and sell commission based from the comfort of their homes. The sign up form is also available on our website. We like to stay in touch with the gogoBags community in every way we can. In years past I used to set up my stand on multiple vendor markets and events throughout Vancouver. This gave me so much insight into my loyal customer base, their needs, requests and loving conversations I hold dear in my heart. It gave me great knowledge about my own products and how they are perceived, allowed me to have valuable networking experiences and gave me friendships and partners I still nurture today.
Last year I decided that we would pause setting up at vendors markets for the sole reason that I needed to spend more time with my family so I’ve created ways to connect even further with the use of technology. We have a weekly Blog entry on Fridays through the link on our website below in which we post important and helpful information about eco-friendly matters, you can subscribe directly. Also, I post IGTV videos each Saturday on our Instagram. Now more than ever we need to stay connected and share as much as possible so we can grow and learn together.
|If our readers want to purchase products or services from you what is the best way for them to do so?|
|You can make purchases through our website and by contacting the customer service details below. We also have products available through brick and mortar vendors, and their websites.|
|Before operating your local business what were you doing for work or a career?|
|Before gogoBags I was an independent Travel Agent based in North Vancouver, I used to own a Travel Agency on Lonsdale Avenue and 16th. I’ve done a few other things like baking goods and selling them in craft markets.|
|Outside of operating your business what do you get up to for activities in your personal time?|
|I love planning and executing. I’m always thinking of new ways and ideas to take my purpose even further. Plus the great outdoors in North Vancouver is a wonderful place for hiking and walking with family.|
|Lastly, is there anything else you might want our readers to know about you or your business?|
|We are a local business with a great vision of plastic reduction, eco-friendly awareness and sustainability. We also like to inspire and be inspired by the great companies in our community and throughout the world. We think of ourselves as part of a collective that cares and is taking action towards the betterment of the planet and our role as humans. One single gogoBag saves hundreds of plastic ones from ending up in landfills and that thought keeps me motivated each day.|
Address location is 317 West 22nd Street in North Vancouver
Customer service is firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-351-4007