Liz Long and Holly Tienken: Encouraging Eco-Awareness With Stylish Reusable Bags

BTH_HollyLiz_June2010_ReleasedBusiness partners Liz Long and Holly Tienken are the founders of Bag the Habit, a Jersey City-based company that makes stylish, reusable shopping bags. The two met in a local tea shop in 2006, when Tienken had just started her own graphic design firm and Long had recently graduated from college. Long, who had always been environmentally conscious, wanted to promote eco-awareness with attractive reusable bags. She knew that they had to look chic; otherwise, people wouldn’t want to use them. After sharing her idea with Tienken, the pair founded Bag the Habit in 2007, starting out with one bag style.

“We didn’t want to just design another tote bag,” said Tienken in an interview with the Huffington Post. “It was really important to us that people loved to carry the bag, and [had] a genuine desire to have it with them all the time.”

From that first bag design, Bag the Habit has expanded its line to include totes with padded handles and pockets, market bags that hold 35 pounds, mesh produce bags, reusable gift bags, and bags for wedding favors. All products are made from 100 percent recycled premium eco-textiles, a feature that sets Bag the Habit apart; the company was the first to produce a full line of reusable shopping bags using only sustainable fabrics.

Since its inception, Bag the Habit has replaced millions of disposables with its high quality products, doubling its sales annually thanks to shifting consumer habits. The company also works with brands and retailers to create custom bags for promotion and resale purposes. Bag the Habit’s custom design partners include Daily Candy, Lexus, and Pangea Organics.

Long and Tienken are now working on a men’s design to make their products more “dude-friendly” as well as looking into global distribution. Their goal is to make reusable products the norm, something that is used by everyone everywhere.