jBAG: From crisis to eco-sustainable inventiveness

Amaya Torres Casañas found herself at a crossroads, not knowing what to do with her little ones when the pandemic began. One day, as a result of her imagination, it occurred to her to start making simple origami with them. Thus, the first patterns of what today are jBAG bags were born.

In a world rocked by COVID, this local, environmentally responsible project was born, producing handmade and hand-painted ecological bags, where art and design combine to achieve unique solutions. The bags come in different formats and are made from raw, recycled or new textiles, with aesthetic and handmade value. They serve different purposes such as backpacks, beach bags, everyday bags or gift bags.

“I’m an industrial designer, so each jBAG stitch puts function before form, and modifications are made organically during the process to get the most out of the materials,” Amaya explains.

“I want to rescue the artisanal traditions of women around the world and adapt them to the Cuban context, meeting international quality standards.”

jBAG is ecological from its genesis, based on a biosustainable, local philosophy, and focusing on the use of recycled, biodegradable or recovered materials. Likewise, the images and paintings that decorate the bags show the beauty of nature, a characteristic feature of each of the pieces.

The story behind the giraffe

Eva, Amaya’s five-year-old eldest daughter, drew a giraffe during those days of lockdown, with the ingenuity and naturalness that characterizes children. Amaya then decided that this would be the essence and trademark of jBAG.

“The giraffe is the tallest of all animals, growing up to 5.8m tall. There are no taller living things in the world, except trees. Their height and flexible neck allow them to see what is behind, to the side and in front of them. Therefore, this little animal teaches us how to increase our perception and see life from all angles. This implies balance and the ability to progress. That is why jBAG’s message is: Change your perspective.

Sustainable education in Cuba: A long way to go

For Amaya, inspiration comes from nature. Since she was a child, she has spent a lot of time among the trees, visited the countryside, woken up to the song and conversation of parrots in a tent and has had the joy of seeing protected and natural heritage sites. That is why jBAG wants to bring people closer to nature through its flowers, trees and colors. Each piece is loaded with natural elements, positive energy and a lot of dedication.

“I believe that human beings are not currently aware of how fortunate they are, and of the nature that surrounds them. If we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to enjoy it, we lose the magic it holds,” she stresses. That is why she considers eco-sustainable education to be the secret ingredient for the planet, as we know it, to survive.

“There is still a long way to go in Cuba to create awareness. We believe we can forget the pollution problem, instead feeling we have not reached the consumption standards we want to imitate from developed countries. We are in time to stop the wear and tear and the damage to our environment. There is still a long way to go, but there is a part of the population that is committed to ecology and sustainability. There are already people in the media who are beginning to realize this and support projects focused on changing our mentality. As small businesses we have a duty to educate our customers. Passion, dedication, constancy and consistency are fundamental to make the change,” Amaya concludes.

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