flip & tumble was founded by Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer, designers who met while attending Stanford's graduate Product Design program. Both were trying to make the switch to reusable bags, but were struggling to bring their bags with them when they shopped. "Often shopping trips were unexpected, or we simply just forgot. As we started talking to people, we learned we weren't alone. Lots of people owned reusable bags, but those bags often weren't getting used. It was just too easy to forget."
The duo felt strongly that in order for people to really use reusable bags, they needed to have the bags with them all the time, so it wasn't a matter of remembering for each shopping trip. "We wanted to develop the perfect one bag that you could keep with you all the time. The ideal bag had to be compact and work for grocery shopping, but we also wanted it to work for other places, such as a nice restaurant, or a day at the museum."
As Hetal and Eva surveyed the compact reusable bags on the market, they found that most bags were geared to just grocery shopping, and were cumbersome to compact. "You had to either cram the bag into a tiny pouch, fold it carefully, or deal with zippers that got stuck on the fabric."
"We started to play with different methods of compacting the bag, different materials, and just anything that we could change." Making the bag out of ripstop nylon turned out to be a no-brainer, it had the perfect combination of strength and compactability. For the stuffsack, Hetal and Eva learned that they could use a stretch material, and this made a huge difference in how easily they could get a large bag back into a compact form.
Experimenting with different forms for the stuffsack, they developed a design that made it possible to convert the bag into a small ball. It worked similarly to a sockball. "All you had to do to compact the bag was place your hand in the pouch, scrunch up the bag, and flip the stretchy panels over it. It took about 10 seconds to go from a full sized bag to a ball the size of a peach."
Their final product, titled the 24-7 bag, sells online for $15 through their website at http://www.flipandtumble.com. Over its lifetime, each 24-7 bag can easily spare the earth from over 1,000 disposable plastic bags. The bags fit over your shoulder and have a go anywhere, do anything style that works in just about any environment. The bags, sized 12"x14"x5", with a 26" shoulder strap, are large enough to fit three 2-liter soda bottles, and have a 20lb. capacity. The compacted bag is small enough to stash in a messenger bag, purse, pocket, or car cupholder so it's always ready to go.
While flip & tumble currently sells just the 24-7 bag, the partners aren't done yet. Expect to see a line of products that solves everyday problems in clever, simple, and joyful ways.