Meet Alexander Dabagh | Designer and Entrepreneur
by Alexander Dabagh·
We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexander Dabagh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexander, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have always been an adrenaline junkie, so risk is a big part of my life. I am an avid snowboarder and mountain biker, and the rush that runs through my mind and body when doing either is indescribable. Granted at times I feel like I could’ve killed myself launching myself off a cliff, but with that risk comes the reward of when you hit that landing you feel unstoppable.
I love risk because it makes me feel alive. Whether the result is good or bad risk reminds me to take a step back and to take it all in. And as cliche as it sounds life is short and every day should be lived like its your last. When you take a chance on something and give it your all and it all works out, there is nothing can top that feeling.
As a manufacturer and designer, I felt it was up to me to come up with a creative solution to the worlds most pressing issue, plastic waste. I spent countless hours and used all my resources to come up with an idea to find an alternative use for single use plastic. A lot of people doubted I can do this and thought it was a waste of time, but i proved them all wrong. ANYBAG was my risk and my reward.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets me apart from everyone else in the sustainable game is that ANYBAG is the true definition of sustainability. ANYBAG is using literal trash off the streets of NYC to make a one of a kind never duplicated woven textile that is turned into a durable tote. ANYBAG is not making or creating a new raw material to call it sustainable, we are using what is available and what is surrounding us. We are turning nothing into something. This is what sustainability means in my opinion. Sustainability has become a dirty word being used very loosely and ANYBAG is here to show the world we can do it by upcycling and using what we have available. It was not easy task whatsoever, but here I am 2 years later leading a plastic waste revolution with ANYBAG having collected over 8,500 lbs of plastic. ANYBAG has diverted plastic from our landfills and waterways preventing any further contamination to our environment.
Along the way I have learned a lot, in particular to not to let doubt get in the way. Everyone from my employees to my father thought I was crazy for having this idea to turn trash into wearable art. They didn’t understand the plan or the thought process behind collecting plastic in hopes of turning it into something usable. But alas, their mindset all changed when I created and sold the first ANYBAG in February 2020. The ANYBAG’s mission is to clean up our cities one plastic bag at a time, and finally close the loop on the single use plastic.
ANYBAG is short for A New York Bag, but also means Any Bag, meaning every and any bag is used coming from all parts of the city. The goal is to eventually go national and build workshops that will create jobs, raise awareness, and eliminate the carbon footprint in that city. The ANYBAG is a simple solution to the world’s biggest environmental problem.
For now ANYBAG is made in Manhattan, by New Yorkers, using New York City’s finest trash!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were visiting from out of town we would start the day by going to brunch in downtown Brooklyn at my brothers restaurant Boutros, then walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and head to little Italy to stop at my buddy Sam’s wine shop Dipalo’s. From there we head to soho and grab a macchiato at La Colombe and head over to Rally Road to see what exotic car they have on display. After that we would grab a quick bite at Pepe Rosso on Thompson Street as we head to the Whitney Museum and walk across the street to watch the sunset on the floating park on Little Island to start our night. Obviously we haven’t eaten yet (haha) so we would head to L’Artusi for my favorite pasta and wine to end the night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I want to give a shoutout to my dad, Pierre Dabagh, who taught me to never give up. He is the epitome of the American Dream, having built a company ground up with nothing but a dream and $300 in his pocket. He is and always will be my hero. The second person i want to shoutout is my mom, Wendy Dabagh, because behind every great man, my dad, is a great woman. She raised me to be the man i am today.
And last but not least my loving wife, Rania Dabagh, who is the most intelligent, strongest, and hardest working woman and mom I know. Thank you for always having my back, believing in me, and raising our little boys, for whom everything I do is for.
Jose Tutiven Brian Nguyen Ashley Dabagh