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Reuseit.com Makes Disposable Look Unfashionable

Leon Kaye | Friday August 27th, 2010 | 0 Comments

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It is one of Inc.’s Top 500 fastest growing companies.  The company offers $5 shipping ($4.95 actually).  Its web site displays all kinds of products, many of which are in fashionable and sharp colors.  And everything on their site is reusable.  In fact, that is all the company sells.  They do a pretty good jobs of it, too.

Reuseit.com got its start several years ago as Reusablebags.com.  Its goal was to not only increase sales of the 60 or so reusable bags it had on stock, but to also educate consumers on the effects of plastic bags—the annual consumption of which is not agreed upon, but falls somewhere between 500 billion and one trillion annually (about 6 billion in LA County alone).  Now the company has added even more goods to its product line, including tableware, coffee cups, and water filters.

The company’s employees are an eclectic bunch.  Its team includes a bevy of “ambassadors” who actively write about issues related to consumption, and include Lenore Skenazy, who is mostly known for coming out swinging when the world learned that she had the nerve to let her 9-year-old child ride the New York subway alone—and has since written a book, Free Range Kids, which may very well begin the end of the helicopter parenting epidemic.  Apparently her children are forced to go to school with reusable shopping bags, too, but that has not made the rounds of cable news yet.

The site is not only a clearinghouse of reusable products, but doubles as an education portal as well.  Reuseit.com includes facts on issues from household waste to statistics about plastic bottles, and has a section it describes as “myth-busting” as well.  Confronted by some customers on the fact that it sells nylon and other synthetics, yet urges customers to avoid plastic, the site’s editors discuss issues including product lifecycle, environmental impact, and labor issues—the company’s employees insist that its products be made with fair labor paid fair wages—hence cheap canvas bags are not sold on the site.

Since its founding in 2002, Reuseit.com has grown 1200%, and reported revenues of US$6.2 million in 2008.  As of April 2010, the firm estimates it has saved consumers from disposing over 850 million items.  For those who want to wean themselves away from so much “stuff,” Reuseit.com is a solid place to start.  Although it will take us a while to churn through all the handmade Korean and Japanese paper, the Japanese wrapping cloth may find its way to our home soon.


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