Our History: The Z Wraps Origin Story

A Better Way 

A black plastic trash bag, full, sits ominously waiting to be taken out next to a door and a pair of shoes.

Somehow it was already 11pm, and I was finally just getting to packing lunches for school the next day. Or rather, first cleaning out the lunch bags from the day before. Slimy veggie sticks in a plastic baggie, a very brown half-eaten apple in plastic wrap...into the trash. Thump, thump. A plastic water bottle--“Where did she even get this?” I wondered as it clattered into the recycle bin.. Fruit snack wrappers, crumpled napkins. “Is that...an orange?” A plastic yogurt cup, unopened, lid bulging, now at least 85 degrees...at least she brought our spoon back, too. Thump thump thump. The crickets and the frogs outside offered their droning reassurance: Summer is coming soon, only a couple more weeks of packing lunches. We’ll obviously throw less away when we’re all eating at home….right? Even the thought itself rang hollow.

I pull out the sandwich items. Ugh, the bread has gone stale again. It’s as hard as a rock! Thump. Lettuce rolls it is then--ew, that is not recognizable as lettuce anymore. Ka-whump! What else do we even have? Rummaging the refrigerator, I find one disappointment after another. Chunk of cheese? Moldy. Thump. Fresh herbs, or a green stain that might have been once. Thump. “Carrots and hummus?” I wonder, opening the crisper drawer. Nothing crisp left about those carrots. Thump. Feeling defeated, I look at the leftovers from supper. 

Guess it’s your time to shine, pizza,” I think to myself. My hand hesitates over the roll of plastic wrap. I sigh. Running through my head, threaded between work conversations, giggles from the girls earlier that day, the running list of what we need at the store, trying to remember to get  my mother-in-law’s birthday on the calendar before I forget completely….there it was again. Thump. Thump. Thump. I look at the trash bin, and back to the plastic wrap. A twinge of guilt runs through my stomach at all the food--and all the trash!--I had just tossed. Even a plastic container meets the same fate eventually. Will the girls remember not to microwave a plastic container? I reach for foil instead, unsure of whether this is even a good compromise. “There has to be something better than all of these…” I think, as I wrap slices of pizza in foil. “At least if the girls bring the foil home I can recycle it,” I think, knowing full well that’s easier said than done. 

This wasn’t the world I wanted my girls to have. What would it look like for them to grow up in a world where plastic wasn’t the first choice--or even the second and third? What could I do to make that happen?

Simple Beginnings

Michelle Zimora and her daughter, holding a bowl of strawberries covered partly with a Farmer's Market print Z Wrap

Z Wraps was created as a solution to 2 universal problems that we all must play a part in solving: reducing food waste by using effective storage, and reducing or eliminating plastic trash associated with humans. I’m Michelle Zimora, and I really was that woman in her kitchen at 11pm, haunted by that trash bin! As a busy mother of two young children, our kitchen was a source of so much of our household trash, and the contents of that trash--largely spoiled food and plastic waste, neither of which easily break down in a landfill--bothered me enormously. I was determined to waste less food, make less trash, and I wanted to do it in a way that not only felt good, but was fun and beautiful! I knew to finally ditch plastic for good, I would need an alternative that I truly loved using. I set out to create something that was better to use all around--more effective, more enjoyable, more sustainable, and more beautiful--than plastic wrap and baggies. 

All my life, I’ve been a creative person. I credit my mom for that: I remember designing labels for jars of jam we made together as a little girl, and learning to sew sitting on her lap. That really sparked a lifelong appreciation for textiles and design alike. I’ve also had a lifelong interest and respect for nature, which manifested in my becoming a teacher specializing in outdoor education. As it happens for many people, once I became a parent I started to think more and more about the world at large. Seeing things through the eyes of my girls brought me back to a quintessential childhood question time and again: Why? As my girls grew and asked more and more “Why’s” (every parent knows this phase!) I thought more and more about the WHYs. Why do we do that in this way? Why don’t we do this in a better way? Why is plastic the default choice, especially when we know, logically, that using it for everything is unsustainable in the long run? What things make it difficult to enact change in our everyday lives?

Our Values & Beliefs

a rustic wooden "Welcome" sign in a round cursive font sits in front of a teapot and some red flowers

As a company, we are acutely aware that sustainability is a movement, and we have a responsibility to welcome people into it. We believe that moving towards a more sustainable culture as a whole is far more important than a sustainability that’s all or nothing. That’s why we try to incorporate sustainable practices and materials at every point in our product, from sourcing to manufacturing, to the packaging itself. We want to make our product as impactful as possible for your environmental footprint, because we want you to feel confident in your choice. We make our product beautiful, so that you want to reach for it. And we make our beeswax food wrap ultra-effective--keeping food fresher and more attractive for far longer than plastic methods--because we want you to love it. If we do these things well, we believe you’ll switching to a plastic alternative not only easy, but actually delightful. We also believe that if we can make this switch is easy and enjoyable, you’re more likely to make other sustainable swaps in your life: bringing a reusable bag for your shopping, trying out a farm share or CSA in your community, switching to a cute reusable water bottle instead of case after case of plastic ones, or any number of other options! If we can facilitate any of those changes in your life by creating a great Z Wraps experience, then all the effort was more than worth it. We want to invite you to a greener, more sustainable world. Welcome to the Z Wraps family. 

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