Zay Bags graduated from Soda’s Lift Lite programme this month. Zay sell practical, durable and beautiful bags that encourage customers to be kinder to the planet, by proving an alternative to single use plastic bags, while improving the livelihoods of the weavers that hand make the bags in Myanmar.

Nicola Todd is the founder of Zay Bags. After living in Myanmar for three years and using the hand-woven bags for the local markets, Nicola decided to b\ring a piece of Myanmar back to Aotearoa and sell them through New Zealand markets.

After a positive response from friends, family and New Zealand market goers, Nicola made the move to bring more bags back into New Zealand and set up a business. This was her way of giving back to the people of Myanmar.

Zay provides the weavers in Myanmar with a sustainable wage and 5% of all profits, with the aim to increase this to 10% as the business grows. All bags are hand-woven and made from used pallet tape, making them sustainable and recyclable. The weavers incorporate pops of colour from the local streets into the intricate designs of each bag.

"I am so grateful to have gone through a Soda programme and I think that organisations like Soda are so important. Soda's LIFT Lite programme was a huge confidence booster for me and gave me so many opportunities to level up my thinking."

"They paired me with my business idol Brianne West who is the founder of Ethique, the world's first zero-waste beauty brand. She was amazing  to be mentored by."

"Having access to the business experts in Soda's eco-system was invaluable, I was constantly surrounded by people who challenged me and wanted to see me succeed."

You can find Zay Bags at their website, or their Instagram account zay.everyday for information on what markets the bags will be attending in the lead up to Christmas.

If you need to level up your thinking and gain access to Soda's resources and mentors, get in touch here.