Inside The New Shopping Bag – Mette Hay

From time to time we ask users of The New Shopping Bag about their life. For this edition we reached out to Mette Hay. Together with her partner Rolf she founded the great Danish design house HAY in 2002. HAY has championed the art of making quality design accessible and affordable. They have since collaborated with some of the most amazing designers out there, like Nathalie du Pasquier, Scholten & Baijings, and Lex Pott. Earlier this year HAY released the Six-Colour Bag, a collaboration between SUSAN BIJL, our dear friend Bertjan Pot and HAY.

Describe yourself in three words.
Uncomplicated, open, passionate

Where are you now?
I am at HAY House, our flagship store in the heart of Copenhagen, which was opened in 2008.

Tell us something about you and The New Shopping Bag
I love the shape of the bag, and the colour ways that Bertjan Pot developed. I think the bag is perfect for grocery shopping, and right now I feel like everybody is trying their best to stop using single-use bags in their daily life. I think this bag is something you buy because it’s beautiful and functional, and hopefully keep it for many years, so in that way it really contributes to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The bag only gets nicer the more use it gets. And that you cannot say about all bags, it’s more often the opposite.

Tell us something about Susan.
I appreciate the simplicity of Susan’s collection, and that she has been committed to doing one thing in depth and really sticking to exploring it fully. It is so easy to be forced into doing too much, so I admire her for that. I also think her design is a classic piece that will stand the test of time.

What ecological measures would you take if you ruled the world?
Only buy what you need, and use it forever. Buy things with your heart, and only things you want to keep and take care of. I am so opposed to this throwaway mentality so many people have today, where it doesn’t really matter if you actually like something as long as it doesn’t cost a lot. Personally, I buy a lot of vintage both clothes and objects. We at HAY, also strive to create products that have a long life.

How do you brighten up your existence?
With the people I spend time with.

What part does colour play in that process?
Colour means a lot to me. At HAY we are very inspired by the art scene and the fashion world, and there is a very fine line with colour between working well and being too bold or garish. I really love to work with people who are capable of treading that line, and Bertjan Pot is definitely one of them. I feel that what we get from colour is similar to what we get from the sun! Especially in our part of the world, which is so gray and dark, we need the Vitamin D from colours to cheer us up.

Which music have you been listening to recently?
Music is like wine for me! It is something I really enjoy, and I can tell a great jam when I hear it (or a great glass when I taste it), but it is always my husband who finds both for me. I wish I was more up to speed with what is happening in music, but in my life with the business and two kids, I find it difficult to stay on top of it. That said, David Bowie has been a love of mine since I was young. I really think music can make any experience better, whether it be a photoshoot, or our shows in Milan, or in our HAY stores, where we always make sure there is good music playing.

What is your biggest loss?
I am very lucky that I still have all the most important people in my life.

What is your ultimate destination?
Copenhagen. I love traveling, and some of my favorite places in the world are India, Japan, and many other cities and countries that I often return to, but I consider myself lucky to live in the city that I love most of all.

Photography sidebar by Jan Bijl