Each year, we consume an estimated 500 billion plastic bags worldwide—equal to over one million bags per minute. Currently, it’s actually more expensive to recycle plastic bags and bring them back into the market than it is to make new ones.
Engage in Change is an effort established by a team of Herman Miller employees to engage coworkers in a way to create reusable grocery bags from Herman Miller’s scrap textile material. Another great benefit is that the project aligns with our environmental goals: Every time people use reusable bags rather than plastic, they are helping the environment.
Beginning in January, employees came together to sew and assemble reusable bags from scrap fabric—and to have a good time doing it. The project ran through April, in time to celebrate Earth Day. Over 80 volunteers sewed five bags to donate and were able to keep one bag for themselves. The sewing occurred at our GreenHouse facility—where our seating upholstery is done—and at the homes of our sewing-savvy coworkers. Volunteers made more than 500 bags over the course of the project, utilizing more than 500 yards of scrap fabric.
The bags were given to employees who participated in a company-sponsored Earth Day activity, such as the Adopt-a-Highway program or our annual Earth Day recycling event. A big thanks to all of those employees who helped make this project happen!