There's something very Seattle about a reusable tote. And in a city that banned the use of plastic grocery bags a few years ago, one can really never have too many.
Seahawks fans now have the opportunity to show their support for the team as well as the environment by toting a limited edition bag made from recycled Seahawks event banners and billboards. The tote bags are locally made in SoDo by Alchemy Goods, with proceeds benefiting the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"I think what's neat about the product is it's a piece of Seahawks history, in a way," said Eli Reich, founder of Alchemy Goods. "Being in Seattle, my sense is that a lot of Seahawks fans like to be environmentally friendly with their purchases. This gives them a piece of Seahawks history, and it helps them do something good for the planet, and the third thing is, the money is going to a really great cause.
"So if you want a tote bag, it seems like this is the tote bag you want to get."
Kelly Starr, a spokesperson for the WSCADV, hopes that the partnership will encourage Seahawks fans to learn about available resources and start conversations with friends and family members about healthy relationships. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"To prevent domestic violence, we really need to engage people to be part of the conversation and be part of the solution," she said. "To have the Seahawks come out publicly say, 'We believe we have a role to play in ending this kind of violence,' is really a powerful message to the community. They can reach people that we never would."
A limited amount of the bags will be sold at the team's flagship store, The Pro Shop, located on the west side of CenturyLink Field. There are two sizes of totes, a grocery-size bag ($22) and smaller lunch bag ($15) – and each bears the "12" fan logo over a unique mix of graphics and text. Because the bags are made from the heavy-duty vinyl used to stretch across billboards and buildings, they are durable and weather resistant.
"You can get it wet, no problem. You could spill something on it and wipe it down," Reich said. "It's meant to be outdoors and sort of impervious to the elements."
Alchemy Goods has been "upcycling" things like used bicycle inner tubes, old seatbelts and advertising banners for years, turning them into messenger bags, wallets and belts. When the Seahawks approached the local company about finding new life for its used marketing materials, Reich welcomed the opportunity, as a fan of both the team and of head coach Pete Carroll.
"I really like the way [Carroll] leads the team," Reich said. "His leadership style is an inspiration for a small business owner – we're sort of the small guy, and I think the idea of competing to be your best in order to survive and thrive is a cool theme.
"I like the Hawks. I like the way they do it."