Our Story

Welli Bins™ founder Kathleen McIntyre is a busy mom of three kids — and many pets.  A former investment professional, she had the idea for Welli Bins™ in early 2019, when she found herself at the Container Store to buy yet another round of bins to organize her chaotic household.  She was frustrated by the available choices: flimsy, planet-killing plastics, brittle straw and wobbly fabrics. Finding no substantial alternative, let alone a sustainable one, Kathleen decided to launch Welli Bins™ Co. to contribute a practical and planet-friendly solution to the storage and organization market. 

After a bit of research, lots of inspiration from sustainable shoe material and some rather mediocre drawings, Kathleen enlisted the help of her brother-in-law Andrew McIntyre, a Stanford Product Design School graduate who has been engineering products for over a decade with companies like Amazon, OXO and Rolls Royce Motor Cars.  With Andrew on board, they began the work of prototyping bins using recycled woven plastics but found that these materials were simply not tough enough.  Worse, using recycled plastic often creates a larger carbon footprint than the use of new plastics. 

Instead of using fossil-fuel based plastic (recycled or not), the Welli team pivoted to using bio-based foam made primarily from sugarcane after Kathleen became inspired by a pair of sneakers with soles made from beans.  After numerous ideas, tests and prototypes, the Welli Bins™ patent-pending formula and design emerged with a unique plant-based material and a perfected molding process.