Monday, April 25, 2011

{Giveaway} Local Portland Lulu Wraps: A Sustainable Alternative to Single Use Bags

Giveaway entries accepted through midnight, Sunday, May 8th, 2011.

We're doing a little something different at Sustainable Food for Thought today:
an introduction to a sweet friend of mine, a giveaway from her local Portland company, Lulu Wraps, and a peek at her springtime lunch menu, highlighting some of Oregon's finest produce.

The trouble? Ever-growing numbers of paper goods and plastic bags and price tags dangling off disposable products.

The fix? Finding reusable solutions and fostering a mindset that treasures the gifts we've been given.

Portland sisters Deb & Annie Abele share a passion for thoughtful living, sustainable food, and keen eye for design. Deb and I met several years ago as co-workers at a Portland landscape architecture firm. When we recently met for lunch, and I learned about her new endeavors, and I asked her to share a bit about Lulu Wraps and her company's elegant solution to disposable plastic bags, gift wrap, and grocery sacks.

Annie {L} & Deb {R}

What inspired you to launch Lulu Wraps?
Where do you source your fabrics and materials, and how do Lulu Wraps contribute to Sustainable Living in the Pacific Northwest?

My sister, Annie Abele, and I had been looking for a new, creative and planet-friendly business venture. We had long been fascinated by examples of fabric wraps from around the world.
Because we're sisters and were diy from childhood, maybe a gift from our Oregon pioneer ancestors, we both love making things, sewing and otherwise. Our families save and treasure the same worn pieces of gift wrap, slightly smaller with every use, and making the leap to designing fabric gift wrap that is a endlessly reusable was natural to us.

From the original gift wrap concept, we've added lunch wraps, both more washable and collapsible than a lunch box. And of course, more sustainable than a paper or plastic sack. The cloth lunch wrap can neatly gather up sandwiches, fruit, bento boxes, take-out cartons, or whatever. Once empty, you can fold them and slip them into a pocket. When open, they make a nice clean placemat. They can be washed if need be, and used over and over again.
We live on the same NE Portland block now, with gardens connected through a gate, but Annie has lived in Portland, Providence, Indiana, Holland, Michigan and San Francisco, and I've lived in Portland, Ithaca and San Francisco. She's a graphic designer and I'm a garden designer. We continuously cook, read, garden and sew, along with other creative endeavors.

The wraps are all limited editions. Most of them are very simple, just hemmed. We sometimes use contrast linings, and the lunch wraps have water-resistant linings. Our own embroidered and hand-printed wraps are in the works.

Our fabrics come from a variety of sources, including vintage saris bought from India over the internet, fashion fabrics in wide variety, organic cottons and hemps, and locally sourced recycled water-resistant polyester lining.

Our wraps are just coming out in local stores now; at the moment, they are available exclusively on our website.

{ Lulu Wrap Giveaway }

Giveaway #1: Red Wolf

Giveaway #2: Sylvie

Visitors to Sustainable Food for Thought are invited to leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway for one of t
wo 26" x 26" cotton lunch wraps lined with recycled water-resistant nylon. Both come with easy tying instructions and a matching cotton napkin.

Two winners will be chosen via and will receive a limited edition Lulu Wrap shipped directly to their home. Entries accepted through Sunday, May 8th, 2011.

Winners to be chosen and announced on the site on Monday, May 9th.

If you'd like to be notified directly if you're the winner, please include your email address in your comment {i.e., sustainablefoodforthought (at) gmail (dot) com}

No extra steps: no Facebook Likes or Twitter Follows. Though if you'd like to take a peek at the Lulu Wraps "How to Use" page, you're welcome to leave a second entry stating how you would use your own Lulu Wrap to replace disposable products in your daily life.

A Packable Springtime Lunch from Deb
In honor of both our rainy Portland spring, and Sustainable Food For Thought, we've come up with a (nearly) all local lunch, with photos and recipes. Nearly all the vegetables are from our bounteous, wonderful CSA - Pumpkin Ridge Gardens, in North Plains. The greens were so ridiculously plentiful this week, and our hens are laying to beat the band, so the focus of the lunch was easy!
The menu:
Egg salad sandwich
Spring rolls with chutney sauce
Slice of cake (because it's Toby's birthday today!)

~ Egg Salad Sandwich ~

  • Two chopped hard boiled eggs (from our back yard flock),
  • several radishes, coarsely chopped up,
  • Hot peppers preserved in vinegar from the end of last summer (just use a pepper or two, cut up),
  • a heaping tablespoon of chopped It's Linda's bread and butter pickles from Lopez Island,
  • dijon, brown or yellow mustard,
  • Salish alder smoked sea salt (from Woodinville, Washington),
  • Plenty of black pepper,
  • Two slices of Grand Central's Como bread.
  • Stir eggs, vegetables and seasoning together, spread on the bread. You won't need any mayo - it's moist, spicy and slightly sweet.
~ Spring Rolls with Chutney Sauce ~

For three spring rolls:
  • Six or so large leaves of any sturdy greens (we used turnip greens),
  • One carrot, julienned,
  • Half of a cucumber, julienned (this did come from the store),
  • Several hot peppers, preserved in vinegar from last summer and kept in refrigerator (sliver the peppers),
  • six or more radish thinnings,
  • green onions or onion thinnings,
  • (add/substitute any available spring vegetables that strike your fancy),
  • Salish alder smoked sea salt,
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste,
  • Lay washed large leaves overlapping somewhat on work surface in groups of three or so.
  • Scatter vegetables across the mid section of each group of leaves,
  • Pressing the ribs a bit to flatten, roll snugly.
  • Repeat for all three.

For the dipping sauce:
  • Two or three tablespoons of Ginger Peach chutney (I make this most summers - use any peach chutney recipe and add lots of slivered fresh ginger.)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • (chili flakes or hot sauce if you like)
  • Stir to blend.


Many thanks to Deb and Annie and all the best to them as they continue crafting beautiful, sustainable alternatives to disposable packaging.

Again, to enter the reusable fabric wrap giveaway, leave a comment below and include your email address. I'm sure the gals at Lulu Wrap would love to hear from readers around the country!


Lastly, through the month of May, Sustainable Food for Thought readers may use the coupon code "NWLUNCH" at the Lulu Wraps checkout to receive free shipping and 25% off on their order.

[Full disclosure: There is no business transaction associated with this Sustainable Food for Thought post; we're just Portland gals who like supporting other Portland gals. It's all about sharing resources and spreading inspiration... Enjoy!]


The Improbable Farmer said...

What a simple and wonderful idea! I would love to win one. My email is

Michelle said...

I love reusable bags and am looking for a way to cut down on picnic waste other than wrapping everything in cloth napkins. This lulu wrap looks great!

Thanks, Bethany!

Angelcore said...

Wonderful product, cool sisters, great idea. Exactly the sort of reason my family and I are moving to PDX in a month!

Amy said...

What a wonderful and innovative idea! I have been washing plastic bags and hanging them out to dry for quite some time now. I would love to win one, and bring some sustainability fever to Spokane, WA!

My email is

Joan said...

Great idea! Love the look of the wraps, especially "Red Wolf."

Andrea Downing said...

very cool! we love reusable items!

Stephanie Anderson said...

Love them! I've been looking to get some reusable lunch sacks. :) truthtempest (at)

Bethany said...

I love the gift-wrap idea - saving paper gift wrap is tedious, and I am usually exchanging gifts within a small circle of people so we could keep passing this back and forth! bethany.wofford [at] gmail dot com.

MASRT said...

The wraps are like a portable picnic --making me think of summer.

Biblioholicbeth said...

What a great idea! The simplest are always the best :)

j:fern said...

Very Cool! Style and re-usability! They remind me of some packaging I saw on my visit to japan!

MrsScorziello said...

Such a neat concept! Not to mention, very cute!


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