Sydney’s Peita Pini first caught the nation’s attention in 2018, spruiking The Swag — her brand of patented reusable grocery and produce bags — on Network Ten’s “Shark Tank”. In the years that followed, she turned her gaze to the fridge.
“When I had children of my own, I was more conscious of the extent of fresh-food waste in my own home,” she says. “I started to notice condensation building up inside the plastic bag or container I was storing my veggies in.” Frustrated at watching her produce sweat and rot mere days after purchasing, Pini set out to develop a storage solution that would be reusable, machine-washable, compostable, non-toxic and scientifically proven to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for two weeks or more in the refrigerator’s crisper.
Launched in 2021, the Veggie Saver bag retails for about $25 and is handcrafted in India from layers of 100 per cent unbleached, unseeded cotton. T Australia’s digital content director and awards judge, Victoria Pearson, says: “This product feels so deceptively simple, I’m wondering why I don’t already have something like it — which makes it all the more appealing to me.”
The manufacturer is fair trade compliant and monitored by Sedex, a global body that tracks sustainable and ethical supply- chain practices, and reviews businesses with an annual factory audit. Since 2018, Veggie Saver’s parent company, Swag Australia, has donated a percentage of profits to Destiny Rescue, an organisation that rescues and rehabilitates children who have been victims of human trafficking. “Not only did I want this business to create a positive impact for the world by combating food waste and plastic pollution, but also to generate a revenue stream in order to rescue children trapped in slavery,” says Pini. “We truly care about the legacy we leave behind and believe in a better world where human trafficking no longer exists.”