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DESIGN
Flip & Tumble Bags
DESIGN
Flip & Tumble Bags
by Mike Giles
on 18 May 2009
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Combining a colorful palette with smart design, Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer at Flip & Tumble are doing their part to solve the problem of what to do with bulky canvas totes by introducing a ripstop nylon shopper, similar to our beloved Baggu. Designed to roll up small enough to simply live in purses or messenger bags all the time (they compact to the size of a peach), they solve one of the inherent problems associated with other “bring-along” reusable bags. They're available online and at less than $10 a bag it’s easy to own a few.

We chatted with Jariwala to learn about how the girls came up with the design

Who’s behind Flip & Tumble?
Eva Bauer and I met at Stanford’s PD (Product Design) grad program. It's a pretty neat hands-on place which is kind of like playing Lincoln Logs with 14 of your best friends, except you’re trying to make things that can actually solve real world problems.

In our second year, we tackled choosing a topic for the very open-ended design thesis by defining which problems were important to us. I ended up working on developing transformative spaces, while Eva worked on exploring the topic of delight for adults. Where Eva definitely strives more for the fun side, I'm more into the emotionally uplifting side, but we overlap strongly in a desire to push for strong function that integrates with how people live.

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CH: How did F & T come to be?
Our thesis experience had been great, but we both came out of it looking to work on something that felt more rooted in a current everyday problem. Inspiration hit us at the checkout line at IKEA. The whole reusable bag thing had just started to take off and we had remembered that we had forgotten the big IKEA bag we bought last time. We were struck by the divide between the intent of reusable bags and their actual application. We started talking to shoppers at our local grocery store, most of whom seemed to own reusable bags, but virtually all of them had forgotten their bags at home or even in the trunk.

So many shopping trips are unplanned or done when you people are racing around, so we realized that if we could make the bag super-stashable, we could get around that issue. It also had to be incredibly easy to compact, otherwise you wouldn't take the time to compact it.

The resulting bag is durable and strong enough for just about anything you can put in it, but just as importantly it has a modern style that you would feel comfortable bringing anywhere.

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What's new at F&T?
We're excited about our expanded color palette. Different colors evoke different feelings and we wanted shoppers to be able to pick.

As for other stuff, you'll just have to stay tuned. We’ve got more in the pipeline that we’ll be sharing soon.

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