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Meet stasher – An Innovative Pioneer in the Plastic-Free Movement

October 16th, 2018

Losing lids, misplacing the bottoms and never quite having enough room in the fridge, nevermind the mass quantities of plastic — these are just a few of the plights we all face when trying to store fresh food or leftovers in the fridge. Stasher set out to solve these daily problems, while simultaneously working toward removing plastic waste with their award-winning 100% pure platinum food grade silicone bags. Founded by Kat Nouri who has been an environmental activist and entrepreneur for years, stasher was her innovative answer to keeping dangerous plastic-derived chemicals out of her family’s food and protecting and preserving our planet’s ocean. Take their Plastic-Free Pledge, and learn more about Kat and her brilliant company.

Let’s just come out and say it – we are in love with stasher! Where did the idea come from to create an eco-friendly, plastic-free bag?

Well first, thank you! As a pioneer in the plastic-free movement, our quest began over a decade ago. As a mother of three with a marketing and sales background; entrepreneurial immigrant parents that came from a nutrition and professional sports background; and a husband that’s an engineer in manufacturing; I started a lifestyle company called modern-twist.

Modern-twist took silicone to a whole other level of elegance and innovation, and the success of modern-twist allowed me to start thinking “outside of the bag.” The idea of stasher came from my observation of plastic use/waste, and my mom’s obsession with the content in our food and the things we store our food in. It didn’t make sense to me that we put all this thought and spent all this money on consuming wholesome food, but then to turn around and store, cook and freeze in petroleum-based bags or containers that are filled with thousands of toxic chemicals— including BPA and other phthalates.

stasher bag plastic-free storageAs a mom, I couldn’t believe that billions of pieces of plastics were ending up in landfills and in our oceans. The thoughtlessness in manufacturing and a society without any thought of the consequences of consumption just breaks my heart. Pretty packaging and greenwashing can make us all feel like we’re making an effort to make better choices. But, consumers needed a real, better choice to replace plastic bags and containers that are functional and provides a healthier alternative for people and the planet.

Millennials are all into transparency and they are demanding actions in every way for a more sustainable future! It’s the right time for a more conscious generation. If you look at all the ways our followers are posting about stasher on Instagram you see that this is their plastic-free movement as much as ours. They’re obsessed and spreading the word like fire!

The award-winning design is easy to use, easier to store and truly the easiest option for any packing, cooking, or food storage. What was the design process like for stasher and how did you land on the final product?

I loved using glass as an alternative to plastic, but it was too heavy and used way too much space, not to mention that it broke and was hard to transport. Metal I like, but again it’s not flexible like plastic, takes a lot of room and you can’t use it in the microwave or the freezer. Silicone was a base material I was always fascinated by. It had all the functionality of plastic with the purity of glass.

The real challenge was getting something that behaves like jello to actually hold structure. The closure was a bear to figure out, as I insisted on the bag to be made of silicone in its entirety. Other products use extra pieces for the top closure that melt in the dishwasher or break. They’re hard to use in the microwave and too easy to lose. After a million dollars in molds and patents and years of development, we were ready to launch at the International Housewares Show with stasher. We instantly won the Global Innovation Award and the European Red Dot design award. We had every major retailer standing at the booth.

But we didn’t know how infectious stasher was until we started hitting our own social channels. The passion from our #stashersquad is what’s driving the plastic-free movement. We are just here to help educate people about the plastic problem, provide the best customer experience, and show the world what stasher can do.

With the overuse of plastic a hot topic these days, you really are ahead of your time. When and why did plastic-use become your cause and goal help alleviate?

As I mentioned, this obsession has been brewing for the past decade! It’s when the product aligned with an awareness that things finally took hold.

stasher bag's are dishwasher safe

You even have a Plastic-Free Pledge on your company website, can you explain that? Why is it important to you to have that?

Being more conscious of your choices, even when it’s inconvenient, takes real commitment. We try to make it as easy as possible by providing a healthier alternative that is first and foremost functional and designed well. Real change happens when others help to spread education. All those little actions lead to big movements!

For people unfamiliar with silicone, can you give some insight as to why you chose silicone and what it is?

Silicone is man made, but its components are all natural. It’s mostly sand and oxygen! Now, silicone can be made cheaper with just as many chemicals and byproducts as plastic, but we chose to make stasher with very high quality, pure platinum silicone— no chemical fillers or byproducts. The difference is a product you can trust, that can take the heat of cooking without leaching toxins. Is it biodegradable? No. We want stasher to last, and it will, through thousands and thousands of uses for many, many years. Should a customer ever need to dispose of a stasher, we save them from landfills by repurposing returned stashers into playground pebbles.

What is your favorite way to use your stasher bag? Or what is one way to use your stasher bag that consumers may not know? (I recently used mine for the beach – perfect for keeping phone sand-free!)

I personally hate food waste. All my bananas and avocados last so much longer in stasher or I freeze them. I’m crazy about meal and smoothie prep. Also, my leftover baguettes stay fresh in the bag. My favorite thing as a mom is marinating then taking stasher straight from the freezer into a boiling pot of water to defrost and cook at the same time. I still can’t believe some people cook or sous vide in plastic bags. Off-gassing petroleum in your food is not appetizing nor gourmet! Wake up, chefs. That’s my biggest pet peeve.
Another unusual and super helpful use for stasher is when I’m leaving for a business trip or vacation. I’m always getting ready right before I head out the door and my curling iron or straightener is always too hot to pack. Now I just put my hot curling iron in a stasher and it can go straight into my bag without a worry.

store food plastic-free with stasher bag

For anyone passionate about a cause & thinking of ways to make a change or maybe even start a business, what advice would you give them?

The best ideas are those that solve a problem or a need. Challenge a category that needs thought. In our case, stasher is the most innovative product in the market since glass lock and disrupting the storage category! Think of the effect it has at the end of its life cycle and the impact your profit and success has on people and the planet. Stasher’s success will be determined by the impact it has, not by the profits we make as individuals. We exist and are driven by that every day. We’ve worked hard to become a Certified B Corp and member of 1% for the Planet by supporting clean ocean projects and educating on plastic use and pollution. We’re also Woman Owned and invested in helping women in all circumstances have access to education and equal opportunities so that they too can be innovators!

How about for yourself – any advice or mantra you live by?

Always think outside of the bag! Changemakers and people that strive to make an impact think creatively and in a universal way that’s inclusive. That starts with your employees, the culture of your company, and how you view society and the treatment of the environment.

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