Holly Cabarrus was tired of bringing her reusable bread bag to the bakery for her morning loaf, only to stand in line with other customers – sometimes the same ones every day – who would get their bread in single-use plastic bags.
“I figured, if we can drastically reduce single-use plastic shopping bags, why can’t we do the same for plastic bread bags?” she tells Broadsheet. So, the NSW Central Coast-based entrepreneur founded Aussie Bread Bags, a range of thick cotton sacks for transporting and storing your fresh bread.
A Roy Morgan survey found last year that 11 million Australians buy bread each week, the majority of it in plastic bags. Cabarrus is aiming to sell one million of her reusable bread bags by July 2024.
The calico bags are sourced in Australia, altered by a local seamstress and packaged by Cabarrus herself at her home in Avoca Beach. They come in two sizes: the small is suitable for standard block loaves (and can also be used for fresh produce), while the larger size is for larger loaves such as sourdoughs, high-tin loaves and cobs. There’s also a “snack pack” size that’s perfect for carrying scones, croissants and danishes (which are often served to customers in single-use paper bags).
While Cabarrus created the bags to minimise plastic waste, they have a handy secondary function: they’re better for your bread. Unlike plastic, the calico allows air to circulate, which slows the growth of mould. The bags are also freezer safe and can be thrown in the wash for cleaning.
Prices start at $7.95 for a snack pack, $22.95 for a set of two smaller bread bags and $26.95 for a set of two larger bread bags.