Last Monday, I went to UC Davis to meet with my graduate thesis external advisor Ann Savageau. She also invited me to speak at her sustainable design class which happened to be visiting the UCD Design Museum. While at the Design Museum, I witnessed one of the most touching exhibitions called Bags Across the Globe.
According to Ann, “Bags Across the Globe (BAG) is an interactive project that has reached out to friends and strangers across the globe, in an effort to bring attention to the environmental damage caused by plastic shopping bags and textile waste, and to promote the use of reusable cloth bags”.
This project is part of Ann’s ongoing investigation of the environmental problems that the world faces.
I was first introduced to this project while living in Italy. Ann contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be part of the project. My participation consisted on receiving a couple of bags made out of reclaimed materials and distributing one them to a friend. I accepted the invitation and eventually received two bags. I kept one of them and took it on my trips across Europe as well to the open markets in Rome.
The bags are made by fashion and textile design students at UC Davis. Some bags are made out of vinyl banners that students have used for their presentations, others are made out of pieces of reclaimed textiles.
“Each bag contained the following: a) a letter explaining the BAG project; b) a postcard made out of recycled paper with the BAG logo; c) a sheet with facts about the environmental damage caused by plastic bags and textile waste”.
Beginning in summer 2008, Ann and her team began making the bags. During the summer of 2009, they mailed them to people in 60 countries across the globe. “Recipients were asked to use one bag for shopping. They gave the second bag to a friend, to do the same”. Recipients mailed Ann their postcards with a message about the experience, and a photo of themselves holding and using the bag.
The part of the exhibition that most caught my eye was a resemblance of a hurricane made out of plastic bags. Such made me think of the nasty North Pacific Ocean waste plastic shore.
The goal of the exhibition and the BAG project is to create and increase awareness of the implications of the use of plastic bags in our everyday life. Not everybody lives in a city like San Francisco where since 2007 plastic bags have been banned; therefore choosing to bringing your own bag when going grocery or even clothe shopping is necessary to decrease plastic waste.
Imagine how cool would you look and how cool your grandchildren would look if you provided them a clean livable planet.
If you happen to be near Davis or in the Bay Area, stop by the Design Museum at UC Davis and get inspired to be not only more environmentally conscious but also more BAG fashionable.