My Brilliant Idea
There I was one year after Christmas, shopping the scraps of Christmas fabric at the craft store. I had a brilliant idea! (Of course) I was going to stop making the yearly donation of un-recyclable Christmas wrapping paper to the trash dump by making my own reusable, beautiful, and creative holiday gift bags! Everyone would love them. They were sure to add to the Christmas spirit. Being such a thing of beauty they would add to the already festive display around the Christmas tree. I would be able to use them every year and would be saving the earth (our own tails, really, since the earth will live whether we survive or not). I placed the scraps, along with some out-of-fashion silk shirts, and some colorful pillowcases into the basement to become my wonderful gift bags the following Christmas. Well, the whole lot sat in my basement for a couple of years. Every year as Christmas approached I would remember those scraps and tell myself, "This year will be different. I’m going to make my wonderful bags!" I would design them in my mind and plan how I would make each one special and unique. And still, it wouldn’t get done.
I was determined
After a couple of years I said, "Enough! I don’t care what it takes; I’m getting those gift bags made before Christmas! Everyone will love them and they’re sure to add to the Christmas spirit…" (you remember). I carted my sewing machine, and all the supplies, to my small living room and set myself up to manufacture my latest brilliant idea. "Ah, this will only take a few hours then we’ll have the living room back." It made such a mess in the living room that I was determined to get it all done in a couple of hours. I knew if it took longer it would throw our lives into chaos and that wasn’t a good idea right before Christmas when we had a lot of other Christmas stuff to do. Guess what, that living room was a mess of ribbons, bows, fabric, sewing machine, iron and ironing board, thread and scraps for MORE THAN A WEEK. How did we live around that mess? Well, the rest of the family wasn’t too happy about it but I persevered. I made about ten of those b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l wrapping bags just in time for Christmas.
Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all
And when Christmas rolled around they were a hit. They were everything I had hoped for and everyone loved them and they added to the… (you remember). There was only one glitch
everyone wanted to take them home. I was appalled. "What do you mean? I want them back so I can use them again. Do you expect me to make all the wrapping bags and everyone else gets to use them?" "Exactly," said my future brother-in-law. "Then everyone has them and they get passed around and more people can enjoy them," he continued. Well, I was having none of that. I put in all the work and they expected me to continue making them for everyone else every year. Phooey, I wasn’t going to do it. "Can’t someone else make them so we can buy them?" I wondered to myself.
Wrapsacks-An even better idea
Lo and behold a few months later Wrapsacks appeared in my local health food store. "I’m saved!" I thought. "Now everyone can buy their own and I don’t have to make any more for myself, either." Heaven knows I hardly had time to make the ones I did. "And look at these cool patterns. And what’s this? I can register each bag and track them?" I was in heaven! And now you can benefit from these bags as well.
How they’re made
They’re made from 100% cotton fabric with a cotton cord ending in a button made from a coconut shell to keep the cords from slipping out of their channel (you never have to re-thread it). The fabric is opaque so your gift is adequately concealed and the top hem is wide enough to keep prying eyes from peeking in before it’s gift time. The seams are stitched strongly and the bottom is pleated to accommodate real gifts. The overall presentation is very attractive. The dyes are bio-degradable. Fabric designs are fashionable and come in a wide variety to suit most gift recipients. Some designs will even coordinate with your gift. There are many styles and sizes to choose from and it’s ecological.
Wrapsacks are made in accordance with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. The company visits the factories and can attest to the ethical conditions and treatment of the employees.
How it works
When I buy a Wrapsack I enter the sack’s code on the Wrapsacks website under "Track-a-Sack". It tells me that I’m "about to start a new Wrapsack on its journey." It includes links to log in if you already have an account or to create an account if you are a new user. Once you’ve logged in you give your Wrapsack a name and a goal for its life. One of the Wrapsacks my daughter originated has the goal of carrying a gift to Orlando Bloom and him giving her a gift back in the same Wrapsack. So have fun with your Wrapsack’s goal. After that you enter information for the gift you are giving that time around. Keep in mind that the person you are giving the gift to will see what you are writing but not until after the event (gift giving) date has passed. They can then give another gift to another person in the same sack, and so on, and so on… It’s made to be passed on. The company’s slogan is "Connecting people … one gift at a time". And being able to track it makes it more fun to see what your sack has carried and to whom. Who are you six-degrees of separation away from? You can find out because the website emails you when your sack is passed on. What’s not to love?
Other fun benefits
There is so much to do on their website. You can see who has given the most number of sacks, which sacks have gone the furthest. You can even see the most generous states or cities according to number of sacks originating from them. It’s a whole experience. Find your user name on their website and see where you rank in the list of top "Wrapsters".
They are now also making Zipsack Totes which are tote bags that zip up into a neat little square the size of a wallet. They can be used over and over, are in the same cool materials as the wrapsacks. If one of your gift receivers just loves to hang onto their wrapsacks perhaps a Zipsack is in order as their next gift. They can use this as a tote instead of using a wrapsack as a tote. Then all the wrapsacks that you have lovingly named, given missions and are tracking can stay in circulation. (These totes also come in a heart shape.)
Wrapsack Greeting Cards
These cards are made with the same material as the gift bags and totes on the outside and banana leaf paper backing. They have a pocket inside for your business card, a string holds the paper in so you can replace the paper when you pass the card on to someone else and a portion of the proceeds go to a charitable cause which is listed on the inside of the card.
Possibilities for the company
Partnering with other online retailers could launch this idea further, faster than any other single initiative. Just imagine what it would mean to the gift giving population and mother earth if everyone used reusable gift bags instead of glossy wrapping paper. Not only that, but for retailers like Amazon, RawFood.com, Magic Cabin, Gaiam, Tooth Soap and many others, it would save money on labor since it takes less time to put a gift in a Wrapsack then to wrap it in wrapping paper. To make the whole thing work the Wrapsacks could have a bar code that scans easily and generates an email to the gift giver including the code for the sack. The email would include a link that takes the gift giver to the Wrapsacks website to enter the sack and the gift. What do you think? If you like the idea contacting online retailers with the idea might encourage them to investigate the possibilities so they can adopt it. Let’s do it and be part of the change!
Wrapsacks aren’t just for Christmas, although they do make it easier. I still use the bags I made from fabric scraps, out-of-style shirts and colorful pillow cases but now I don’t have to make any more for myself. Yea! I just buy the Wrapsacks and let them do the work. Besides, it’s a whole lot more fun tracking my Wrapsacks then making my own gift bags, it takes less time too!
View product details at Wrapsacks: Wrapsacks for all your gift giving occasions