Entrepreneurial

Putting a new spin on BYOB

July 27, 2011

Kirsten Quigley, left, and Cristina Bourelly of Lunchskins

Startup 3greenmoms wants you to BYOB, and they’re not talking about booze.

In a move that taps demand for sustainable products, the Potomac, Maryland-based company markets a variety of reusable storage bags that replace the ubiquitous plastic baggies consumers use and throw out in staggering proportions.

“I was probably using a least a dozen baggies a day between three kids and packing lunches and snacks,” said company cofounder Cristina Bourelly, who developed reusable fabric “LunchSkins” with fellow moms Kirsten Quigley and Jennie Stoller Barakat.

The team has been selling their bags, priced at retail from $7.85 to $10.95, depending on size, since 2009. Available in colorful, eye-catching patterns, LunchSkins are made from durable cotton fabric used in commercial pastry bags and can withstand high heat. Coated with a food-safe polyurethane liner, they can be thrown in the dishwasher or washing machine, giving them a lifespan of about three years and boosting their appeal to eco-conscious shoppers.

The self-funded business has seen distribution increase to more than 500 retail stores, including well-known chains Whole Foods Market and The Container Store. The bags are also available online at http://www.lunchskins.com/.

“Growth in the space has been good for us and good for consumers in general,” Bourelly said.

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