BYBBA Reusable Bag

overall rating:

2.66

planets

Katherine Cornett
7/25/2021
No items found.

BYBBA, which stands for Bring Your Bag Back Around, is a reusable bag company founded on the idea of stopping the use of single-use plastic bags. The company is very transparent about its manufacturing processes and what goes into its Balos bags, named after the beach in Crete. BYBBA provides the reasoning behind where their factories are, the dyeing and manufacturing processes they use, and why the company was founded in the first place. My overall earth ranking for BYBBA was 2.66 earths because they are making significant efforts to be sustainable, but I would love to see them collect more certificates in sustainability like becoming a B Corp or adhering to the Global Recycling Standard. Overall, I would recommend this bag to anyone beginning their sustainable transition away from single-use plastic bags.

What it's made of:

2.5

A key focus of BYBBA is helping to maintain our oceans, but they also care about general sustainability practices to help the earth. Following this path, the Balos bag is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. The plastic is sourced from recycled water bottles and collected plastic debris from the ocean and beaches, which is very important to the company. The plastic is first broken down into microscopic chips and then washed until it’s clean in order to create the Techniluxe fabric for the bags. BYBBA’s goal was to make a product that “felt rich and didn’t sound or look crunchy” while still being aware of the products used to create the bag and what happens to the bag at the end of its life. In the process of designing their bags, they went through numerous fabric swatches before deciding on their current material. The ropes used on the bag are made from regenerated nylons sourced from fishing nets and other disposed products. The bags and ropes are both constructed at BYBBA’s BSCI certified factory in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia. BSCI is a movement that monitors workplace standards across global supply chains to ensure all suppliers are treating workers ethically and legally. The design team also spent a lot of time ensuring that they are constructing the bags in the most sustainable way possible. Machines bind the bags to minimize scrap waste, and an experienced technical designer was consulted to find uses for excess fabric. While BYBBA aims to make their bags as sustainable as possible, they acknowledge that the bags still produce microfibers when put in the wash. To help mitigate this problem, they recommend you wipe down your bag to clean it, but if you put it in a washing machine, either put it in a washing bag or attach a filter to your machine. The filter captures the microfibers before they can enter the water stream and keeps them out of the oceans and away from the animals they could poison. For my what’s it’s made of ranking, I assigned BYBBA 2.5 earths out of 3. I believe their practices are sustainable, and they are trying to be transparent with the public about what their process is, but I would like to know more about the specifics of the materials before assigning a higher ranking.

How it's made:

2.75

The BYBBA bags are made of 100% post-consumer plastic that would otherwise clog landfills or pollute the oceans and beaches. The first step is to remove all labels from the plastic, and then crush it down into billions of tiny plastic chips. The spinning mill then takes the PET chips to wash and dry them. Once dry, the chips are sent through a machine, where they are heated up and stretched into long thick strands. From here, the strands are broken down into little pellets. The pellets are then heated again and re-stretched into superfine threads that are spun onto bobbins and sent to the knitting factory. This process eliminates the need to use petroleum in the production process and removes plastics from the oceans and landfills, both of which benefit the environment. All of the BYBBA recycled textiles are made in their factory in Taiwan, specializing in eco-friendly and high-quality fabrics. They are then cut and assembled in one of their partner facilities, which are carefully chosen for their ethics and values. The main BYBBA factory is in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia, and is BSCI certified through a long list of social and employment guidelines, specifically fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and zero forced or child labor. BYBBA chose to use factories outside of the US because some of the best manufacturers of high-performance fabrics are located beyond the US. They reviewed many locations but found that the facilities that were most suited for their bag production were in Cambodia. The fabric itself is certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, a world leader in testing fabrics to regulate harmful substances. They ensure that the origin of the fabric and what it’s made of is transparent to consumers, so they know what industries they are supporting. The dyeing process for products is usually environmentally destructive, but BYBBA prides itself on using sustainable and environmentally safe practices. The bags are dyed with eco-friendly dyes, and the water used in the dyeing process is sent to a wastewater treatment plant to separate out the OEKO-certified safe dyes and stray fibers before being released into a healthy stream. I decided to assign a 2.75 earth ranking to how the BYBBA bags are made. I was impressed with how much detail they included on their website about how their bags are constructed and dyed and where the factories are located.

Who makes it:

2.75

BYBBA was founded by Pam Seidman the same day that New York State announced its ban on single-use plastic bags, March 1, 2020. Seidman has a background in fashion, having worked with brands like Ralph Lauren, Valentino, and Versace. When first starting the company, her largest concern was how to make a sustainable product without compromising her personal style and desire for high-quality products. She said that while she worked in fashion for a long time, it wasn’t until recently that she began to question the social and environmental factors that were involved in the production of all the brands. While BYBBA focuses primarily on reusable bags, the company doesn’t stop there. They are rethinking everyday disposable items and how to create lasting sustainable solutions. Their first bag design is called The Balos, named after Seidman’s favorite beach in Crete. She said the quintessential natural health and beauty of Balos is what she’s aiming to preserve as BYBBA creates sustainable bags, keeping single-use products out of our oceans. BYBBA has partnered with Oceanic Global, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that inspires people to care for the ocean and provide solutions to protect it. As an International non-profit, Oceanic Global highlights humanity’s essential relationship with the ocean and empowers people to create positive change. All the ocean facts provided by BYBBA are approved by Oceanic Global, and they donate 5% of all their profits to the inspiring non-profit. In the nature of sustainability, BYBBA has started an “upstream return program.” The company will accept your used BYBBA bag once it’s no longer being used or if it’s reached the end of its life. After receiving it, BYBBA will send it to their factory for recycling and re-entry into their manufacturing process. This program is the purest definition of a circular lifecycle, and I’m very impressed by BYBBA’s initiative. I decided to give the company a 2.75 earth ranking because I was thoroughly impressed by the nature of its founding and the different sustainability practices. I would love to see them partner with other non-profits or certifications, but overall I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a reusable bag.