Brands & Manufacturers

Begs & Bags: from book to garment. A transmedia experience fighting marine pollution and whaling



Begs & Bags collaborates with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to bring back traditional Azorean clothing in response to marine plastic pollution. And it all starts with a whale!

Before you start reading…

For a truly immersive experience, we recommend reading while listening to the song mixed by Joana, founder of Begs & Bags. The sperm whales recordings used in this track are a courtesy of @ImagDOP/UAz (Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores)

Listen to it HERE!

The story behind Begs & Bags starts with Begs, a sperm whale from the Azores archipelago. After learning about whaling, she embarks on a journey to teach other countries about whale watching, a perfectly safe and beautiful practice when done responsibly, in order to stop commercial whaling.

What Begs does not expect from her journey is to find other terrible threats to marine wildlife, such as marine pollution.

In hopes to find a solution to this crisis, Begs creates a garment inspired by the traditional Azorean ‘Capote e Capelo’. Originally, this piece was very popular during the 1930s and it was created using whalebone. But this time, Begs will use marine plastic.

Traditional Capote e Capelo

Therefore, we accompany Begs in her two grand goals: to fight marine plastic pollution and to prove to humanity that we can enjoy whales much more without hunting.

You can find Begs’ story in the book Begs & Friends, available for different ages.

Begs & Friends books, written by Joana Avila, founder of Begs & Bags.

But Joana Avila, founder of Begs & Bags, did not want to stop there. And that is when she brought Begs’ idea into reality through her AzoreanHood Collection. Her high-quality creations are handmade in Terceira Island (Azores) and represent what both Begs and Joana fight for: solidarity, cultural heritage and sustainability. For the latter, Begs & Bags partnered with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and uses SEAQUAL® YARN in her designs. So, just like Begs in her book, Joana uses recycled marine plastic to bring her wonderful creations to life.

Additionally, Begs & Bags gave the classic ‘Capote e Capelo’ a more innovative approach, making it possible to turn into a bag.

AzoreanHood Collection.

Another impressive design is the reversible tote bag, perfectly named ‘Dive in Azores’. As Joana explains, when looking into the bag with the whales’ image inside, it feels like taking a peak at the beautiful dancing of whales beneath water.

'Dive in Azores' tote bag

Joana’s journey and persistent spirit have already granted her great recognition. For example, she won the Blue Bio Value Ideation Azores 2020 and she was a finalist in the European Heritage Stories 2019.

All in all, Begs & Bags is a great example that the industry can create an unforgettable experience while advocating for the planet.

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