Back when I was a co-ed at UCLA, living for the first time away from home, my mom used to pack me food and goodies every week. And we’re not talking boxes of ramen. She’d fry up a bunch of dumplings, stir up a batch of fried rice, and bottle up some stews and soups in those giant glass kimchi jars. We’re talking enough to feed a small army.
Of course all those containers wouldn’t fit in a measly grocery bag — paper or plastic. No, my Korean-born mother would wrap up the jars and bins in giant square pieces of faded cloth. I didn’t think anything of it. It did make a covered rice bowl easier to carry. It wasn’t until I saw an old Korean War movie and I saw all the refugees carrying their life belongings in similarly wrapped cloths that I realized it was a Korean thing.
It turns out, it’s an Asian thing. The Koreans call it bojagi; the Japanese furoshiki.
It also happens to be a very environmentally friendly thing. Fresh handmade cosmetics brand Lush is getting in on the bojagi/furoshiki action. They’re decreasing their packaging by offering Knot-Wraps, a large scarf made of either recyclable materials or vintage fabrics, to wrap up your purchases.
They’re just $6.95, and the Knot-Wraps can be used and reused in a variety of ways. Use it as a unique way to wrap a gift. Stick your farmers market purchases in it. Or do it Asian-mom-style and bringing your lunch in it. So much cuter than brown bagging it.