Our Story

Our story begins at Pilgrim, a little Espresso Bar in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, New Zealand. We have a diverse mix of customers from every walk of life but in particular one customer would always hand over her reusable bag for her food to be put in. Everyday I would quiz Emma with questions, heat and butter her scone, and then hand over her coffee and while Emma would beat her way back to her office, I would search for the fabric the bag was made from.

Eventually I found some.

Sustainable packaging zero waste

Meanwhile, in life outside of Pilgrim we had the good fortune of meeting Samantha. Sam lived up our Street and spent more time on the swings than our two preschool kids combined. Only Sam was 18, suicidal and struggling to keep herself afloat. Sam likes cats, kids, & roast lamb and as it happens, so do our kids. So we hung out and became friends, our family and Sam. Sam was a whizz at origami cranes and when we got our first sample of the fabric we let Sam loose on the scissors and sewing machine, and she loved it. We thought this could be a cool thing for Sam to help out with and then SammyBags was born, and we’ve been annoying her ever since.

The “Own it” tag

Each one of our bags comes with an “Own it” tag on the side, the reason for this is because:

Our environment has a direct relationship to our mental health. Plus we also believe that business is a vehicle for positive change. We made the connection between environmental sustainability and mental health courtesy of Sam’s tattoo, “Change Nothing; Nothing Changes” which is applicable to both mental and environmental health!
Basically, “Own it” is implying that staying the same requires a decision just as much as changing does. Each time we refuse to change, a decision is still made. So if we don’t choose reusable packaging, we’re making the choice that nothing is going to change. 

Own it, encourages us to… Own our spiritual, physical & mental health. Own the impact our behaviour has on our environment. Last but not least, to Own our packaging, something that people would never have considered owning up until now.

It’s a statement about personal responsibility, making consciously aware decisions and rejects the notion of being helpless.

Read more about SammyBags sustainable packaging here.