We partnered with Sagebrush on an extremely limited run of board bags made from our beloved Blanket Shirt fabric! Just like the shirts, they’re soft yet durable and will keep your boards ding-free on the go. We caught up with Sagebrush founder and waterwoman Anna Ehrgott to talk all things ocean, travel, and sustainability.
First off, how are you doing? How have you been staying healthy as we make our way through these strange times?
Doing well! Just been trying to get outdoors as much as I can and chip away at projects that normally got pushed to the side with a travel-intensive lifestyle. It’s been a weird year, but I filled some of the gaps with more surfing, gardening, bird watching, cooking, and focusing and growing Sagebrush Board Bags. I’m really hoping for more time with family and bear hugs in the near future. Although challenging in so many ways, it was a good year for different reasons.
Where have you been finding your adventures in SoCal? And whereabouts are you now?
What’s normally a month in Hawaii turned into seven months this year. By spring, I’ll be looking to head back to Topanga with my fiancé, Dane. It’s a great location to live in nature but have access to all that LA provides work-wise. Downtown LA is textile heaven to me, and if I finish my fabric runs in time, I can hop in the water at Topanga Beach or get a hike in for the sunset. Eagle Rock is my favorite hike, with some caves and an ocean view at the end. I grew up in Topanga and never tire of the small town’s soul and trail network. I haven’t been traveling internationally this last year, but spending time on the islands and getting to road trip out to Colorado to meet my nephew have been filling my cup.
Where did your Sagebrush journey begin?
I previously worked at Mollusk Surf Shop, where I learned the ins and outs of what sells and what people are looking for when they come into a surf shop. I wanted to start a business and be able to work for myself, but happened upon the board bags by accident. A bag that I made for myself caught the attention of friends who began ordering, then the surf shop started taking custom orders, then over the last few years, we’ve grown, opened an online site, and expanded our products. Everything is made sustainably and in California. We utilize coffee bean sacks and deadstock/vintage fabric for the board bags and have our deadstock fabric hats made in Los Angeles. I was an environmentalist before I became a business owner, so those ethics have stayed close this whole journey.
Why recycled materials? What inspired you to use coffee sacks?
After seeing how much waste is created in the textile industry, I was inspired to find other ways to source materials. In the early stages, I’d frequent thrift stores to buy fabric. As we’ve grown, we need larger amounts, so I buy bolts of vintage or deadstock fabric to make the board bags. The first board bag I made had burlap for the nose portion, and a friend reached out saying his coffee roaster throws out that exact same material. The coffee sacks have cool prints and writing from their countries of origin, and they make every board bag a little different from the next one.
We’re psyched about the OK bags! How do you think they turned out?
The Outerknown collab bags are some of my favorites I’ve ever made. It’s really cool getting to make special limited runs of board bags, and even better when that fabric is beautifully designed and organic. Our team is myself, another seamstress in California, and we just took on our first intern, Laura, who was a customer for years and now helps source materials for us. I mostly work with canvas, so it was a treat to mix it up with something that’s soft but equally sturdy. The cedar plaid ones are my favorites!
What does the ocean bring you? What do you hope we collectively do for the ocean?
The ocean has given me a job, a passion, a reason to travel, my fitness, food, and a love for the environment. I love seeing people get the surfing bug because I know they’re going to come out the other side with a greater respect for the environment and something more powerful than we are. One of the most important ways we can protect the ocean is moving away from plastic. Beach cleanups are simply band-aids on a bigger issue of the way our goods are packaged and what we wear. Opting for cotton/hemp/natural materials over poly-based materials whenever possible and things like making the easy switch over to a reusable water bottle add up in the long run. Consumers have a lot of power to create change by voting with our money and how we spend it.
What’s on your horizon? What’re you looking forward to?
Quite a bit coming up this year! Getting married, moving, a couple cold-water surf trips, and continuing to grow Sagebrush. We’re looking to bring back our changing ponchos and keep repurposing discarded materials to make board bags.