Monday 3 July 2023

PR / UNPAID AD - Leave No Trace With The Festival Bag From Paper Bag Co.* **

Whilst I'm not trying to sound too morbid, I'm wondering if any of you guys out there have a bucket list? You know, a list of things that you want to do or achieve before you depart from this crazy world that we all call home. 

Since my life seems to have been pretty much on hold for the last few years, I have a huge list of things that I still want to do and places that I want to go to. I'd love to go to Japan, to do my doctorate, to write a book, to see a volcanic eruption,  and I'd also like to do something that's probably a bit more achievable and go to a proper music festival.

I love music, and live music in particular, and seeing a whole load of different musicians, and artists of different genres sounds perfect! The UK especially is literally music heaven when it comes to festivals, with Glastonbury last weekend, and the Isle Of Wight the week before that, and with other large festivals such as Wireless, Latitude, Kendal Calling, and of course Reading and Leeds still to come, as well as numerous smaller, more niche festivals. the UK really is the place to be if you love live music!

So come on Lou, why don't you just bite the bullet and grab your tent and go to one? Well apart from the obvious health reasons at the moment, I love music but I think I love my comfort more. I think I'd be okay hanging with the VIP's in an RV, but I don't think that I'm really built for festival life, or even camping when I come to think about it. I need good toilets, hot showers, and a clean, comfortable bed. I've heard far too many horror stories about gross toilets, mud, horrendous traffic jams, my fellow human beings, and of course the mountains of rubbish to put me right off!

On the rubbish front though, despite the pictures that you may have seen this week about the aftermath of Glastonbury, things are changing. Whilst piles of rubbish aren't really a great look, Glastonbury has a longstanding with environmental campaign group Greenpeace, and caring for the environment has always been at the forefront of any planning or decision making. They have a full 'Reuse Reduce, Respect' policy which includes a focus on renewable energy, use of electric vehicles onsite, and an onsite recycling plant, and has the tagline 'Love The Farm Leave No Trace', and thankfully in festival and environmental terms they're not alone, with Kendal Calling's 'Leave Nothing But Memories' pledge, and the 'Green National Sustainability Charter' which is in place at all Live Nation festivals including Reading and Leeds.

It isn't just down to other people though, whether you're heading to a music festival or for just a quiet weekend of camping, we all need to do our bit as well, by reducing waste, and environmental damage , and recycling and also by thinking a bit more careful about exactly what we take with us on our trip, and no I don't mean what flavours of vodka to pack!

With an impressive CV when it comes to producing high quality retail and promotional paper bags, including working with brands such as Audi, Christian Dior Parfums and Converse, British brand Paper Bag Co. and their sister company Cotton Bag Co might not be at the top of your list when it comes to packing for a festival, but if you care about the environment then they probably should be.

First introduced in 2022, the Festival Bag from the Paper Bag Co. is the perfect accessory for the festival goer that wants to be a bit more eco conscious. With UK festivals alone generating over 23,000 tonne of rubbish every year, the Festival Bag and it's eco-friendly contents are all specially designed to leave no trace, even if everything get trashed and ends up being left in a muddy field when the festivities are over, oh and that also includes the bag itself! 

Unlike the majority of other rucksacks that you've probably seen on your travels this one isn't made from vinyl or plastic, believe it or not it's actually derived from paper! If you've ever had one of the large paper, or fibre filled padded envelopes, then that a bit like what this bag feels like. Don't worry I can hear what you're all saying, 'paper surely that can't be very durable', well that's where you'd be wrong! This backpack actually feels really strong and sturdy, and as if it could take a real battering, not only that but believe it or not, it's also waterproof. 

The Festival Bag comes into 2 eye catching modern designs, the 'No Trace' hand design and the bright pink, and black 'Festival' design which is the one that I was very kindly sent.

So it looks great, it's better for the environment, and it's sturdy but what else does it have going for it? Well sticking with the construction the bag features two strong webbed fabric and paper derived straps, that are fully adjustable, so it will fit all heights, sizes and wearers, comfortably and securely.

The backpack features a secure, side zipped pocket ideal for your phone or wallet, and it fastens with both a velcro tab and with full top zip for double the security. The main compartment of the bag is super spacious and would easily hold a change of clothes, a towel and a swimsuit or even a couple of folders. It also has a little loop inside the bag so you can attach your keys to keep them safe and secure.

Can you see what I did here? I shot a lovely picture, with a nice clear shot of the bag to give you an indication of the size, and I completely forgot to get a picture of it on my actual back! Seriously I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached - anyways once I realised I quickly remedied it and shot some pics all be it in a different location, and I can safely say that it felt both secure and comfortable and as I say there was plenty of room for adjustment, 

I don't know if your childhood was anything like mine but I always used to, and still do tend to carry backpacks slung over just one shoulder rather than wearing it properly. I always just found it more comfortable that way and this one was no different. I always used to get wrong off my mam for carrying rucksacks like this when I was younger, she kept telling me that it would ruin my posture and I guess it comes as no surprise that my posture now is indeed terrible - it only goes to show that you should always listen to your mam!

If you can get past my strange facial expressions, my awkward modelling poses, and the sight of me in shorts then you might have already noticed my snazzy t-shirt which is the first item that comes inside the Festival Bag. Made of 100% organic cotton, and printed with water based inks, this t-shirt features a really vibrant, modern, 'Leave No Trace' design. It's a really good quality shirt, made of a nice thick cotton, it's comfortable to wear and it also washes really well with no fading or cracking on the design - it's great for everyday wear, and it will make a great cover up it you've caught the sun ;)

As well as the t-shirt, as I said earlier, the Festival Bag also contains a selection of festival, camping or even just travel essentials, all of which are eco-friendly and biodegradable, and that will leave no trace.

The first thing in the backpack is attached to the little loop inside the bag via a metal carabiner clip, and it's a foldable cup! All you do is just pop off the cap / cover, and pop out the cup, and you have a small but sturdy drinking vessel that's perfect for those shots, a sneaky glass of wine, or if your being good a glass of water!

To be honest I have seen cups like this before, but I've never seen one quite like this before. Although it feels like the plastic cups that I've seen in various camping, garden and outdoor retailers, this cup is actually made from wheat fibres! Like the bag it feels surprisingly strong, and it's obviously reusable, just give it a rinse and you're good to go again, but if it ever does break then you are safe in the knowledge that the cup itself and the lid are both fully biodegradable, and of course you could use the carabiner clip for something else.

The next item in the bag, or should I say items, is a paper bag which contains a variety of eco friendly, not trace hygiene items including a good quality bamboo toothbrush, and of course some tooth paste. No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, there is indeed some toothpaste in the picture that you can see below, I can see why you would be confused after all there are plastic or metal tubes to be seen anywhere in my photo, and that's because instead of a conventional tube of toothpaste the festival bag instead includes some packaging free toothpaste tabs. You can find these in a few places now, and they are really simple to use, just pop one in your mouth, give it a quick chew, wet your toothbrush and brush away! They feel a touch chalky in your mouth, but they were nice and minty and they left my teeth both feeling and looking clean.

All of the items in this bag are super innovative in both their use and their construction but the next two items in the bag will really blow your mind! My bag contained two body wash sachets, one was unscented, and the other was scented with coconut, sea salt and jasmine. I've only tried the unscented one, and on opening it (with dry hands as instructed) I was a little bit confused, instead of being greeted by a liquid shower, instead the sachet contained a a flat, white square that felt a bit like really thin foam. After getting wet in the shower and the rubbing the square over my skin, it actually started to dissolve and foam up! For something so small and unpromising looking I actually got a really decent shower out of it, oh and don't worry about the paper sachet that it comes in, just drop it on the floor of the shower and it will safely and quickly dissolve away, and disappear down the plughole, again leaving no trace. In case you haven't realised I'm completely blown away by this vegan and cruelty free product, and I'm definitely going to be hunting some of these down for travel, and overnight stays, they weigh next to nothing and there are no liquids to worry about.

Sticking with the whole idea of keeping clean, the 'wash bag' element of the Festival Bag also contains some compressed bamboo based face and body towels. Again they look pretty innocuous but just pop one of these natural coloured tablets into some water, and they will expand to create a biodegradable cloth perfect for washing your face or body, or just freshening up.

One thing that festivals aren't known for is peace, and quiet, and as much as you'll probably enjoy the noise, and the hustle and bustle, we all need to sleep at some point, and that's why the Festival Bag also contains a pair of cotton and natural beeswax ear plugs, so even if your campmates are throwing an all-nighter you should still be able to catch up on your beauty sleep.

Now as nice as the weather in the UK has been over the last few weeks, and even though weather forecasters are predicting a few more heatwaves before summers out, never forget that this is the UK and what does it do here? It rains! and that's why no festival survival kit is complete without a rain poncho! The one that comes in the Festival Bag isn't just your typical plastic bag style poncho though, instead this adult sized, hooded poncho is made of biodegradable cornstarch so it will keep you dry, and when you've finished with it, you can bin it or compost it and it will rot safely away.

For a festival virgin such as myself, something that has always put me off seeing some of my favourite artists in the festival environment is the horror of the portaloo! Whilst I have heard good things about at least some of the toilets at Glastonbury, I've also heard some pretty ahem.. interesting stories about festival and camping toilets, and whilst alas this backpack doesn't contain and clean and fully functioning bathroom, it does contain a 100% recycled, full size loo roll from the fabulously named 'Who Gives A Crap'.

Whether you're a fan of his music or not, I've got to say that Sir Elton's Glastonbury set was something else, both me and my mum thoroughly enjoyed watching his performance last Sunday night, and if the majority of the crowd watching him were to be believed then you can't have a festival without a bit of sparkle. You're probably well aware though that the majority of glitter is still made out of plastic, not the glitter in this bag though! The final item in the Festival Bag is a little packet of super sparkly, fully biodegradable glitter that is actually made from plants!

Whether you're heading to a festival this summer or not this bag is fabulous for any camping trip or weekend away, and even if like me you're planning on staying at home this summer, you could still find a lot of uses for both the Festival Bag and its contents.

As well as being eco friendly the bag is really spacious and good quality, and everything inside is both useful and innovative. I'll definitely be popping both the cup and the poncho in the car for both hydration and rain emergencies, and I'm also going to be on the hunt for some more of those body wash sachets,

No matter what your plans are this summer, if you want to be a bit more eco friendly and be prepared for all eventualities when you're out and about and beyond then I would definitely recommend picking up the Festival Bag. The Festival Bag retails at around £39.95 and is available exclusively from Paper Bag Co. 

If the Festival Bag isn't your thing though then don't forget to check out the Cotton Bag Co and of course their sister company Paper Bag Co, which offer other eco friendly products that can benefit you or your business. Their printed tissue paper is sustainable, eco friendly and branded which is a great way to personalise and add value to your packaging and branding.

Are you a festival fan? Let me know in the comments and make me jealous and let me know what you're up to this summer, and of course if you have any questions let me know below x 

*Press Sample / Unpaid Advertisement 
**This Post Contains Non Affiliate Links