Have you ever aspired to be the main character at your local farmers’ market? You know, the one who wears flowy linen and knows all of the vendors’ names, and probably lives in a cute little apartment full of upcycled vintage furniture? Well, Sirena Nets is here to complete your goal aesthetic and, perhaps more importantly, provide a more sustainable alternative to your everyday shopping bags. Sirena Nets, founded by friends Nishelle and Pavlina, makes plastic-free, eco-friendly, and reusable netted shopping bags — AKA nets — that are incredibly versatile. The 100% organic cotton nets are biodegradable, cruelty-free, and machine washable. Plus, get this: the compact net can expand to hold up to 100 lbs.

Nishelle and Pavlina met through partner dancing, as they both have a passion for the sport and art form. “We both realized that our energy’s so compatible,” says Pavlina. The first dance team project they were on was called Las Sirenas, which provided the perfect inspiration for their brand name. Sirena means “siren” or “mermaid” in Spanish. 

“For us, Sirenas meant something way deeper than just the name of it,” Pavlina says. “It was almost like an attitude of a woman who knows her worth, but she’s beautiful without sacrifice. You’re still strong, you’re still powerful, but you’re powerful within your feminine side. And we were talking about different things sirenas means to us. And then we were like, ‘We need something — a product that we can have that’s also sexy but cute, but at the same time it’s not dangerous to the environment; it’s not dangerous to the planet.”

“And that’s tying in with our values,” Nishelle chimes in. “We both have had this environmental yearning to protect [the planet], or to create solutions. We’re still going to keep growing in that, too.” When the pair decided that they wanted to produce a reusable bag, they started looking to see what was already on the market in terms of design. Originally, the brand name was just Sirena, but, because the bags they decided on producing are “technically nets, and sirenas have nets, — they capture things with their nets — it just worked out perfectly. The name [Sirena Nets] worked out perfectly,” Pavlina explains.

Nishelle and Pavlina both became aware of the importance of taking care of the earth at a young age. “The awareness … within us … just developed, and then you kind of learn how to apply that to make your values speak through your actions and your purchases, and voting with your dollars,” Nishelle says. “We’re not perfect, but we’re definitely growing and learning every single day. And it’s fun, learning and educating ourselves.” Through launching Sirena Nets, the two have learned a lot about just how invaluable living a sustainable lifestyle truly is. “All these facts [that we’ve learned] are … guiding us through that direction of yes, sustainability is the answer,” Pavlina says. One eco-friendly textile that they’ve found they like to work with is hemp, and currently, Sirena Nets offers a biodegradable and reusable Hemp Face Mask. It’s soft and stretchy and honestly, there’s no such thing as owning too many face masks.

Nishelle recommends that when starting a company, you should build a community, and deeply love and believe in your product. Nishelle and Pavlina themselves were amazed at how much their Natural Nets could carry when they were first testing the product. They still get compliments when they use their nets out in public, and personally, we love a good compliment. The nets can hold anything from a full day’s farmers’ market haul, a couple of watermelons, or a load of laundry. “It’s The Everything Bag,” Pavlina aptly nicknames it.

“To start [a sustainable brand, it’s] not that hard. I think it’s to make it grow, that’s the hardest part,” Nishelle says. “[Pavlina and I are] doing it together, and that energy that we have is just so passionate about a common goal. It’s been a fun journey so far. Not easy, but when you’re passionate about it, it is a lot easier.”

If you’re a fellow Etsy fan, Sirena Nets is now on Etsy! However, you can still shop the catalog on the Sirena Nets website, and make sure to follow the brand’s Instagram to stay updated. Nishelle and Pavlina have great vibes, and Sirena Nets is growing, so you definitely want to stay tuned for what’s to come. Always remember: sustainability is sexy. Shop Sirena Nets!