Welcome to Three Bluebirds, founded by Lynda and Lasse Baldauf, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
Having grown up in Finland, Lasse remarks, “It was completely natural to reuse dish towels. In Europe, we never used paper towels. We’d wash and recycle naturally.”
“Not growing up in Scandinavia,” Lynda adds. “I learned about the sustainability factor from Lasse. When I visited Finland, back in 1987, shoppers were taking their own cloth bags to the market, like we do here now. They were way ahead of the curve with the environment.”
Through the Three Bluebirds website, consumer shows, and retail establishments, the cloths are catching on. According to the eco-conscious couple, one of their cellulose/cotton dishtowels does the work of 17 rolls of paper towels. Making it more durable and hygienic than a slow-to-dry, bacteria-ridden sponge, they can be thrown in the dishwasher or washing machine for over 200 cycles.
In addition to promoting environmental preservation, the Baldaufs’ intention is “to make people smile” with the towel’s hand-drawn childlike and heartwarming designs. Embracing Scandinavian simplicity, functionality, and aesthetics, they’re decorated with whimsical motifs, which include graphics, birds, animals, and holiday themes.
“It’s fun to introduce something new to the American market with our own designs,” says Lasse, a retired trade promoter, who devotes all his time now to Three Bluebirds. “It has been an interesting process.”
The couple launched Three Bluebirds in 2013. “In Native American symbolism, 'bluebirds' are considered a sign of love and joy,” says Lynda. “I loved the imagery.” The ‘three’ is for Lasse and their two daughters.
Since the fall of 2014, Three Bluebirds has become a part of New York City’s urban scene. The Baldaufs were selected to man a coveted kiosk space at the Bryant Park Union Square and Columbus Circle Holiday Markets.
“It feels really good to share something that makes sense and that we really believe can help the environment,” said Lynda. “I love the idea, ‘whatever blesses one, blesses all.’”
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