Meet The Boss Lady Behind Seoudi Supermarket’s Reusable Bags

Via Drumstick Design

In recent years, the world has started to cut down on the use of plastic. Multiple studies report that exposure to plastic chemicals is linked to different cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, and endocrine disruption. In addition to the countless footage we come across of plastic waste filling oceans and harming the marine life.

While many countries are finding replacements for plastics, it seems that the Arab world is still intensely consuming the non-recyclable toxic material. Last week a Facebook post went viral by Drumstick Designs after announcing a collaboration with Seoudi supermarket chains to offer customers an alternate type of bags.

Via Drumstick Design

We talked to Drumstick Designs founder, Sherine Abdel Rassoul, about the initiative that took Egypt by storm.

How did your business start and what services do you offer?

I started my business in 2010 specializing in easy home solutions. You might recognize some of my old work which includes light switch covers and tile stickers.

I, then expanded to making some furniture and home items, most of which are either up-cycled or have an up-cycled feel to it (for example a tarbouch floorlamp).

In addition to making toys not particularly for kids, but for anyone who take fun seriously. I make tyvek paper baladi kites, and pois sets, and have a huge knack for packaging! So I offer packaging solutions, design and manufacturing. 

But initially I’m an environmentalist at heart. I worked with Greenpeace in the mind-forming years of my life and it kind of stayed. We have no time to waste. The planet is literally drowning in plastic and there is so much that can be done on an individual level and the easiest first step is not to take a darn plastic bag from the supermarket!

Tell us more about your partnership with Seoudi supermarkets.

It was a simple deal. I approached them with the idea of selling this bag at their shops. I walked in there with the sole intention of asking them not to put a profit margin on the bag to keep it as affordable as possible so people would be encouraged to buy and use it. The general manager listened intently and shocked me with the news that they were willing to adopt the whole idea with all costs covered! Him and all his staff were really open and familiar with the idea and welcomed it very eagerly.

Via Drumstick Design

What is different about the tote in terms of design and material?

The whole concept of the bag is the pouch. That’s how the whole idea came about in the first place. Reusable bags are not a new idea, we all have a bunch of them stashed somewhere in the house. Yet the truth is that no one plans a supermarket visit, you always “pop” by the supermarket to get stuff, so you end up standing there at the cashier feeling guilty that you’re using plastic bags when you have 40 reusable bags sitting cozily at home doing nothing! Thus this bag.

It can be folded into a small hand sized pouch to keep in your backpack or car all the time. Think of it as your wallet, chapstick, or keys. We want it to be a basic thought, that you always reach in your bag and find your pouch and say “No thank you, I don’t want a plastic bag”.

How many bags do you think is enough for daily customers in each branch?

To be honest, I don’t know. This is a new product and we need to test it first make such an estimation.

Which branches are you available at?

Currently we’re in both Seoudi branches in Maadi only, but we are going to expand to more branches very soon.

Will you expand your business to more supermarkets?

Yes, definitely. The more stores the better actually. I would love to see the habit of not using plastic bags more widely in Cairo. Most people are now aware of how plastic is affecting our planet, now it’s just a matter of doing something about it, and I will do my best to make this step easier for them, and help anyone wanting to save the environment.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss 8 Arab Brands That Actually Serve A Good Cause