The Story of Island Java Bag
I am very proud of this article in the Times Colonist October 17, 2014.
for their continued generous support of our company and the community
I started Island Java Bag in 2010. My son actually named the company. As a single mom with a special needs child, it made outside employment difficult. The idea of making bags and totes out of up-cycled burlap coffee bags while not new, was a good fit to start a small business from home and selling them at the local farmer's market. It was a unique product to this area of Vancouver Island.
I also wanted a product that was eco - friendly. Using burlap coffee bags that would be thrown away ending up in a landfill and using other materials found second - hand fit the bill. Searching for burlap coffee bean bags, I answered an ad in the paper and found Synergy Enterprises in Victoria. They were working with a client, Oughtred Coffee, a large local roaster that at the time was working to become carbon neutral and landfill free. A strong relationship developed with both of them, with Oughtred supplying a large amount of the bags we need and Synergy Enterprises supporting me with business ideas, community support and know how. Over time I developed relationships with other coffees roasters on Vancouver Island who also supply us with bags and helps them by keeping them out of the waste stream.
This little start-up continues to a grand success. I continue to receive unbelievable support from others. They have provided invaluable training, advice and opportunities. A generous grant enabled me to get an industrial sewing machine. It has helped me free up a sewing machine to hire another single mom to help make my products. It also helps me improve productivity, product quality and will enable me to add different types of up-cycled materials and products to our line.
Recently, I was presented with a challenge of finding a way to up-cycle the foil and plastic bags that coffee is packaged in after it is roasted. I am still working on this, but have come up with some very viable ideas. Talk about a full circle, up-cycling materials from bean to cup!
I would like to thank all our customers, coffee roasters and other supporters that have helped us along the way. We have met lots of great people and our products have been received better than I ever could have expected. One of the really fun things for us is how many different places around the world our bags have gone. From Norway to Rio, Calgary to Toronto, from New York City to California and many, many other places.
I Love Cowichan - Duncan Market
How to Care for Your Island Java Bag
Every one is a handmade original using at least eighty percent up-cycled materials
Here are some ideas to keep your bag nice for years to come
Do not put it in a washing machine! The burlap will turn into so many pieces of lint and your bag will be wrecked
Air your bag outside. This method is great to clean up any residual scent the burlap may have picked up
The bag may be hand washed and air dried. Never put it in the dryer!
The straps can also be spot cleaned or hand washed
If you have any questions please email us at islandjavabag@gmail.
Synergy was founded in 2008 to catalyze the green economy in BC. Our vision of a green economy is one that works cohesively towards mitigating climate change and restoring natural ecosystems.
Our Mission: To foster the growth and awareness of specialty coffee through education, customer service, relationship building and sustainability
Very special thanks to