Whole Foods Market Change Story

Commitment to sustainability. Commitment to reusable bags.

Whole Foods Market is the largest retailer of natural foods and environmentally friendly products in the country. The brand’s #1 value is “Caring about our communities and our environment.”

Deb Singer has been at the forefront of Whole Foods’ initiatives to LIVE that value for over a decade. First as an executive inside the company, then as owner of Singer Sustainability, Deb has been a visionary in transforming Whole Foods into a leader of the trend to replace single use bags with reusable bags.


Out with the old – in with the new: The first reusable bag made from recycled plastic bottlesThe Better Bag Small

Deb led the charge for the chain to ban plastic shopping bags in 2007. Simultaneously, Whole Foods launched the “Better Bag” made from recycled PET made from used plastic bottles with the tagline: “I used to be a plastic bottle.”

Whole Foods is the grocery leader in reusable bags

Inspired by enthusiastic customer response to reusable bags, Deb started Singer Sustainability with the mission of breaking the single use bag habit. Today, Deb and her manufacturer partners at Singer Sustainability drive successful reusable bag programs in every region of the national chain.

WFM Bags

Whole Foods’ commitment to great product, properly merchandised, is inspiring shoppers to change behavior – to bring their own bags, every time they shop.

Walk into a Whole Foods and you’ll see a wide array of reusable bags – with a range of price points, design and functionality.

The chain has committed to ensuring that every shopper can find the right bag to meet their needs. In most Whole Foods, the bags are displayed prominently, right in the front of the store, so shoppers can’t miss them.


Our reusable bag programs for Whole Foods today include:

  • Working with carefully selected sustainable manufacturing and fair trade partners
  • Creating and designing bags to suit the needs of the range of shoppers across regions – with the best functionality for food transportation.
  • Providing 100% recycled PET bags, eco chic jute and cotton bags for true sustainability
  • Ensuring a low price point for maximum adoptability and value
  • Highest quality production with cutting edge printing for vibrant, stylish Whole Foods branded bags

The menu of bags for Whole Foods include:

  • Produce and bulk bags
  • Cooler and insulated bags
  • Eco chic and jute bags
  • Shopper trolley

Commitment to sustainability and the right product is creating a real change in customer behavior, and an important positive impact for our planet. Everyone must play a role in creating a sustainable world.


Greenmarket Change Story

Greenmarket was founded in 1976 by New York nonprofit Grow NYC, with a two-fold mission: to promote regional farms and locally grown products and to ensure that all New Yorkers could access the freshest food the region has to offer. Greenmarket is New York’s most celebrated Farmer’s Market, with 50 locations across the boroughs.

Greenmarket Blog

Greenmarket tote

The iconic Greenmarket canvas tote is a trend setting symbol – not just of NYC’s most famous Farmer’s Market, but of New York City itself.

Plastic bags are not green enough.

Greenmarkets are committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. However, the market struggled with the rampant use of plastic bags – Growers gave away thousands of single use plastic bags each market day. Greenmarkets shoppers did not have eco friendly alternatives to choose from.

GrowNYC realized that there was a problem and wanted to do something about it. However, the solutions that could work for a retail supermarket or chain store could not be the answer at a Farmer’s Market. That is where Singer Sustainability entered the picture.

Creating the first reusable bag program for Farmer’s Market Sustainability

Greenmarket bagsAfter studying shopper’s needs, Singer Sustainability came up with a bag menu that included reusable produce bags, a bread & grain bag and a canvas market tote. Together, the bags could replace the single use bags that were being handed out at the market. Bags were sold directly to Greenmarket’s eco conscious shopper community – enabling them to stop taking home plastic bags from the market.


Social Media Campaign – The Plastic CleansePlastic Cleanse

In addition to interacting with Growers and spreading awareness, Singer Sustainability created a social media campaign ‘The Plastic Cleanse’ to discourage the use of plastic bags and encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. The campaign created a buzz in the active social media community of Greenmarket loyalists. Singer Sustainability supported social media with onsite bag sales and creative messaging.

Singer Sustainability has helped Greenmarkets to reduce single use plastic and paper bags across numerous locations and continues to partner with Grow NYC for a plastic-free revolution

Beak & Skiff Change Story

America’s No. 1 Apple Orchard looks beyond the plastic bag for apple pickers.

The 105 year old Beak & Skiff Farms is widely known as America’s No. 1 Apple Orchard. The heritage orchard has been growing premium apples for over a century and was among the first apple grower to innovate with products like apple cider, apple pies and cider donuts, jams and jellies, spirits and hard cider etc. The orchard itself features a distillery, bakery and apple store.

The Pick Your Own experience at Beak & Skiff draws apple enthusiasts and holiday makers from all over the region. Apple picking lets visitors pick their own apples and fill bags.

Beek and Skiff Blog

Looking for a fresher bag.

A progressive farm that practices conscious environmentalism, the folks at Beak & Skiff recognized that the use of plastic bags for apple picking diminished the natural experience and created unnecessary waste. They reached out to Singer Sustainability for a solution.

A reusable bag program with bushels of style!

The need of the hour was to replace plastic bags with a sustainable, reusable option. Singer Sustainability converted this practical need into an interesting branding opportunity.

Beak & Skiff change storyWe created a high quality, fully reusable signature (1/2 Bushel) bag that featured the iconic Beak & Skiff logo and a smaller tote ( 1 Peck) that could be used both for apple picking and at the store. Apple Picking at Beak & Skiff is an unforgettable experience and the Beak & Skiff bag lets apple pickers take home that experience with them, in the form of an unforgettable bag.

Singer Sustainability foresees that the Beak & Skiff reusable bag program will keep thousands of single use plastic bags out of the area this apple picking season and every year.

It was an exciting opportunity to give this incredible vintage orchard a bag that could capture its history and premiere status, while staying relevant, convenient and cool.