See Why This Woman Gave Away Over 27,000 Reusable Bags.

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A few months ago, Teresa VanHatten-Granath e-mailed me about partnering with her eco-friendly art project called Green Bag Lady.

They use donated scrap and excess fabrics to make grocery bags, as an alternative to paper or plastic. And, get this: they give these bags away free, in exchange for a promise to re-use them in place of paper or plastic.

I thought it was a pretty cool project. Then I watched this video, shot a few years ago. This organization is making a massive impact, worldwide, and is much, much more than an art project.

VanHatten-Granath started Green Bag Lady in 2008. Since then, the organization has grown to eight chapters in three countries. To date, Green Bag Lady has given out over 27,000 fabric bags, all made out of scraps. Each bag is labeled with a number and tracked, so the organization knows how many bags have been given away and where they all live. I have one myself—number 22,769!

The leftovers (tiny scraps and knit fabrics)  all go into pet beds called Scrappy Nappy, which are then donated to local humane societies. I’ve recently begun donating scrap fabric from my own clothing company, which will go into these Scrappy Nappy beds for local pups in need.


Here are some photos of Teresa’s studio and process.

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Seamly.co GBL

Seamly.co GBL

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Seamly.co GBL

Seamly.co GBL

Green Bag Lady is a wonderful, local example of small organizations making a big difference. If you’d like to enter to win a bag, visit their website by Tuesday, July 15th at 9pm. They are currently giving away elephant-themed bags!


Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo credits: Seamly.co

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Jonson richard Feb 2, 2016 5:59am

This is great post.
Thank you so much. I very need it

Linda Stubbs May 18, 2015 6:14am

Nice work. Your tailored bags looking very fine. People loved this type of bags very much. You have great collection. Thanks for sharing this article with us.

Logan Summers Dec 28, 2014 9:42pm

What a lovely colorful bags here. I loved it and want more designs like this. Thanks

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Kristin Glenn

Kristin Glenn is the founder of Seamly.co, a women’s clothing company in Denver, CO. She is currently Kickstarting a fully biodegradable jacket that can be worn 4+ ways. You can follow her journey in sustainable fashion here.