About the Brand
Susann Bijl is a designer, curator of colors, and post-materialist.
In her childhood, her favorite way of cleaning her room would be throwing away most of her stuff to create a minimalist and peaceful place, simply because she didn’t like to have a lot of ‘stuff’ laying around. With this same spirit, but many years later, she would design the bag to replace all bags. That bag is The New Shopping Bag.
Susan created the first design and prototype in the year 2000, after studying at Rotterdam’s Willem de Kooning Academy. Born partly from the idea of reducing the waste involved with the production of plastic bags; and partly from the ‘less is more’ Dutch design philosophy, The New Shopping Bag was an instant hit amongst friends, fashion-lovers and designers alike.
The bag’s original design was based on the silhouette of a generic plastic bag. Susan gave it her own spin by creating a colorful variation, crafted from ripstop nylon. The same fabric kites are made of, ripstop is both indestructible and lightweight. The only thing lacking was a signature. After many sketches and prototypes, Susan created the iconic ‘Flash’ – a diagonal stripe that has appeared on every product she’s designed since.
We started out small. In the first two years, Susan sewed almost 400 bags at her studio in Rotterdam, before selling them directly to independent boutiques in the Netherlands. After attracting positive attention from the press and piquing the interest of boutiques all over the world (including Paul Smith in the UK and Japan’s United Arrows), we slowly began to grow from a small-scale art project into a real business. The confidence and enthusiasm of both our retailers and customers helped us spread The New Shopping Bag – in more than 400 variations – from Scandinavia to Australia.