We have come to understand how important it is to reuse market totes, and how enjoyable shopping at fresh markets can be. Back in 1992, when I was studying architecture in Paris, the French were already reusing their “sacs”, but they were breaking their baguettes in half in order to make them fit. This observation was the catalyst for my SAC à BAGUETTE™ design.

SAC à BAGUETTE™ celebrates sustainability, fresh food, good design, quality materials and a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle. It is made in the USA. Enjoy it in good style and good health!

Marybeth Shaw

Evolution of the Shopping Bag

Over the last two centuries, as daily life has spilled out of the home and into the streets and shops, consumers have needed bags to fill with their goods and carry home. From the basic brown sack to its more sustainable counterpart, the canvas tote, consumers have relied on the shopping bag. SAC à BAGUETTE™ is the newest genera-tion in a long succession of carry-alls, packing more function and style into its canvas and leather seams than its paper and plastic ancestors. Just how has the little paper bag evolved into this fresh, finer form? Let’s take a look back at the history of consumer’s best friend, the shopping bag.

19th Century Beginning

In 1852, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania schoolteacher Francis Wolle invents a machine to produce lightweight, envelope-like paper bags. With the success of the machine and bags, he goes on to found Union Bag and Paper Company.

New and Improved!

While working in a Massachusetts paper bag plant, Margaret Knight notices that a flat-bottom bag would make packing groceries much easier. In 1870, she invents a machine to produce the flat-bottom paper bags, similar to those we see in supermarkets today.

Paper Bag

S.O.S.

Unhappy with the paper bag’s inability to stand on its own, Charles Stillwell of Philadelphia patents a machine to produce paper bag with pleated sides in 1883. He calls it the Self-Opening Sack (or S.O.S.), and it has remained a staple in grocery stores ever since.

20th Century Changes

In 1908, Minnesota grocer, Walter H. Deubner notices his customers struggling to carry their purchases, limiting the amount of goods they could buy. In 1912, he patents the Deubner Shopping Bag – an improvement on the general paper bag that employs the use of a cord for added strength, and can hold up to seventy-five pounds of groceries. Deubner’s invention comes just in time. Four years later in 1916, the first self-service grocery store opens in Memphis, TN, the Piggly Wiggly.

Plastic Bag

Paper or Plastic?

A newcomer arrives on the scene. Suddenly, its modern counterpart, plastic, overshadows the paper bag. Beginning in 1977, the plastic bag becomes the bag of choice for shoppers hauling groceries home.

The Eco-Movement

In 2007, in the midst of concerns for the environment, Anya Hindmarch introduces the “I’m Not a Plastic Bag,” to overwhelming success. Shortly afterwards, eco-supermarket Whole Foods releases several recycled-plastic versions of the reusable-shopping tote.

Sac à Baguette

The SAC à BAGUETTE Moment

In 2010, the SAC à BAGUETTE™ launches. Its debut forever changes the face of the shopping bag, as it elevates the reusable, sustainable tote to a new style height – a truly fashionable and functional accessory for the modern shopper.

About the Baguette

Baguette

Stylish symbols such as Hermes, the beret, and Chanel No. 5 are notoriously intertwined with French culture. But perhaps the most well-known and accessible icon of Parisian life comes from its bakeries, not its boutiques.

Chic in its own right, the baguette has been carried home under the arms of proud papas, cultured ladies, and rosy-cheeked children alike. Its distinguishable length, crisp crust, and thin slits can be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of sophistication and refined taste.

Rumors abound about the fashionable baguette’s beginnings. Some claim that it was originally invented during Napoleon’s Russian campaign, when he ordered a new shape of bread that could be carried down his troops’ trouser legs. Others insist the baguette is, in fact, not French at all in its origin – but rather, invented by the bakers of Vienna.

Contradicting claims aside, while long loaves date back to the time of Louis XIV, the baguette as we know it today requires a steam oven, and was most likely born in 1920. In October of that year, a French law was passed that prevented bakers from working before 4am. The new edict made it impossible for the bakers to prepare the tra-ditional, crusty round loaf in time for customers’ breakfast orders. As a result, necessity led to ingenuity, and the slender baguette was born.

So while its origins may be unassuming, this “French bread” has become synonymous with superior food. Stylish in its look and superb in its taste, the baguette is truly the upper crust of bread.

And the only thing more chic than carrying this loaf under your arm? Toting it home in a SAC à BAGUETTE of course!