ECOBAGS have been a part of my life since the early '90's, when I began to have to cart around a ton of stuff for my kids. The company sells a full line of reusable bags and they were out there with the message of using less paper and plastic way before it became the current maelstrom that it is. ECOBAGS was started by a woman named Sharon Rowe, who got disgusted with the huge number of plastic bags flying around her NYC neighborhood in 1989 and decided to change HER personal consumption behaviors. She found cotton string market bags in Europe and started bringing them to stores, getting funny looks from customers and store clerks alike. Sharon started her company after selling more than 4,000 bags in three hours at the Earth Day in Central Park in 1990. She's been growing the company ever since.
What I love about ECOBAGS brand and the company is that they are devoid of ego; they focus on doing what's best for the customer (always) and providing fair wage/trade products at reasonable prices. In the current climate of "greenwashing" this company is the real deal and Sharon's still running it...growing the company from one person to 10 with an ever-expanding product line. In the organics & natural food industries ECOBAGS is to reusable bags what Q-Tips are to cotton swabs. The brand is synonymous with quality, integrity and...FUN. The website is easy to navigate, the people on the other end of the phone are consistently friendly and helpful and even in the "greening" of American consumerism they have kept on course with their insistence on quality fair wage/trade products. I'll be totally transparent; Sharon Rowe is my sister. For years she and I were the yin-yang of eco-awareness. Now my family eats mostly organic foods (whenever possible) and we bring reusable bags to the market. We're keenly aware of how Sharon's persistence with ECOBAGS and her insistence on keeping the fun and message in her business has caused the company to grow.
I love the Westin in Downtown Providence. It's beautiful and the staff are very friendly and accomodating. I thought it was wonderful that there was a physical connection between the hotel and the huge downtown mall, too. It made it easy to get around on a cold New England Day.