Hello and welcome!

If you are new here, I’d like to begin by saying thank you for taking the time out of your day to read into our beginning. My name is Marinna, co-founder of UnEARTH and creator of the UnEARTH Netted Bags. I realize that some of you may be wondering, ‘the UnEARTHed whaaa..?’ and others of you are familiar with the concept and just want more background information. You all are welcome here.

Since our business started in December 2018, inclusive of our 4-month hiatus (I will get to this… keep reading):

Logo'd UnEARTH Netted Bag CSU
I would like to begin with the progress we have made since the business became, well.. a business.

The UnEARTH Netted Bag has been officially approved and is allowed into stadiums and events at: Colorado State University, The University of Northern Colorado, CU Boulder, The University of Wyoming…And Growing! We have made the switch to 100% organic cotton material (YAY!) All of UnEARTH’s manufacturing and shipping processes and materials are entirely reused, repurposed, and plastic-free. Our packaging is different, and we like it that way. Hopefully you will too! We are partnering with businesses and organizations to put logos on the pockets of the bags.

The bags are often used as promotional items, client gifts, giveaways etc. If you or anyone you know is interested in branding the bags with their organizations’ logo, please share! Email mynettedbag@gmail.com for our pricing structure and/or more information. We recently had an article written about UnEARTH in the Medium publication, but you can conveniently find it here.

For those of you who would like to keep reading…

The Story of UnEARTH

To be honest I wasn’t really sure where to start with this, UnEARTH has only been in business for 10 months! Then it occurred to me, the best place to start is the very beginning. So here it goes, the story of UnEARTH: The before, where we are at now, and where we see this venture going. Here goes nothing… or everything (for the glass half-empty and the glass half-full type of people).
Ben and Marinna in Gazientep, Turkey
Ben and Marinna

How Ben and I Met

Ben and I originally met during a semester abroad studying in Southeast Asia. We were studying in Thailand with about 6 others from CSU. 3 of those 6 (Ben and I included) decided to pre-travel in India for a couple of weeks before flying to Thailand for school. Despite going to the same institution, Ben and I had not met prior to being dropped in India together. He was finishing up his undergrad that semester in Civil Engineering, and I was starting my first semester of senior year in the Business School. Our actual love story is a tad bit more romantic and complicated than that, but we’ll save that for another time! 🙂
Ethiopia Plastic Trash
Simply put, Southeast Asia is a marvelously spiritual and unique part of the world and I would 10/10 recommend immersing yourself within the various cultures if you ever get the opportunity. With profoundly beautiful beaches, and buildings and nightlife and culture like no other, it’s easy to bypass the ever-growing issues of air pollution, deforestation, and waste management.
I’m sure some of you have experience with this, but in returning to the United States from somewhere that is so different. There can be a transitioning period often referred to as ‘reverse culture shock.’ The streets are clean, the air is breathable, and you are not dodging hanging telephone wires and potholes while walking down the sidewalk. I often refer to the United States, specifically Colorado as living in a ‘bubble’. So often we get distracted with our own lives and take for granted the little things like clean walkways, the fresh air, trash day, and so on. The little things that exist so that we don’t have to live in the messes that we create. But this is not the case for many, many other countries.

After Ben and I returned to Colorado

After we returned to the United States, we attended a football game at the new Canvas Stadium built on Colorado State University’s campus. This was our introduction to the ‘Clear Bag Policy.’ Ben made a comment. “It’s interesting that CSU coins themselves on sustainability, yet they promote a policy that supports such heavy plastic use.” I took this to heart, and thought to myself, “there MUST be an alternative.”

Fast forward two weeks…

I had the concept of the UnEARTH Netted Bag (well, actually it was called ‘Mynettedbag’ at the time), a non-plastic alternative to the Clear Bag Policy. It took me a while to get the courage, but with Ben’s persistent encouragement, I pulled the trigger and we ordered 300 bags. Once they arrived, there was an entirely different wave of fear. ‘What the hell were we going to do with all these bags?!’
UnEARTH #clearbagnotplastic sign
Sign version #2.. I don’t have any photos of the original. Dang.
We started at Universities. Setting up a small folding table in their centers and plazas and squares with our box of bags, and a big sign that said, ‘CLEAR BAG NOT PLASTIC’. We asked for donations, “If you support the cause, I will give you a bag!”  The response was overwhelmingly positive. People loved the bags and they loved the motive behind them. We had unintentionally started the #clearbagnotplastic movement, a nationwide movement towards ending the PVC plastic bags created as a result of the clear bag policy. From there, we began working with the Athletics Departments, Police Departments, and Security Services of institutions towards making the UnEARTH Netted Bag an official approved bag when entering into games and events. Even better, they also work as grocery bags, pool and beach bags, festivals, gifts, etc.

I told you we would get to this..

Ben and Marinna at the airport leaving for their backpacking trip right as UnEARTH was being born
At the Airport when we decided to leave on a 4 month backpacking trip just as UnEARTH was being born.
So, what I haven’t told you yet is that all of this started JUST after Ben and I bought one-way tickets to Turkey (I know what you’re thinking.) We were faced with the decision to either stay here and run this new business or leave the country indefinitely and fulfill our sense of wanderlust with reckless millennial behavior. Can you guess what we chose?
We did end up leaving the country – and I don’t regret it at all. For 4 months we hitchhiked and backpacked all over Turkey, Egypt, and Ethiopia. We explored, created relationships, and educated those we met along the way of ways to avoid plastic and why they should pick up trash they see on the ground. You should have seen the way they looked at us when we refused their plastic bags and pulled out our UnEARTH Netted Bag at the local markets. Truly hilarious.
When we came back at the end of May, we got right back down to business, a fire ignited within us. We are chasing a dream after all!  A dream to create alternatives to plastic products – sustainable solutions. The UnEARTH Netted Bag is only our first product, with many still to come allowing invention and innovation to lead the way to a truly sustainable future.
For more information or to join the #clearbagnotplastic Movement, please continue to check out our website or email mynettedbag@gmail.com.

If you’d like to stay up to speed with us on social media, you can follow us on:

Facebook @unearthnettedbag
Instagram @unearth_netted_bag

Thanks for reading!
Until next time,
Marinna Dilley, Co-Founder of UnEARTH LLC