eba totes: When principle is as important as the product.
When I first began designing eba totes my two main focuses were on design and price. Make a good design at an affordable price. I tried to find good but affordable materials and hone a design that was both functional and appealing. That first year was littered with failures on both ends. But then something wonderful happened, I discovered Ultrafabrics, a company that created high quality vegan leather that was ethical and eco-friendly. That discovery pushed me to start thinking more about the principle of the product, then just the price.
It was my aha moment. I had always supported causes I believed in, whether that was giving a monthly charitable donations to non profits, or buying products that helped, not hindered the environment. Why couldn’t eba totes do the same? And here was my moment. To create a quality made product that used eco and ethical materials that still had a sleek functional design.
Finding eco or recycled materials is a huge challenge, and partnering with a manufacturer that supported these ideals was just as challenging. The most common questions are: why aren’t you producing overseas, its cheaper? Why are you using materials that are so expensive, its not leather? Why are these bags expensive, they are not made out of leather?
I am manufacturing in the US because as a brand I would like to support my country and its economy. I want to pay my taxes that will funnel back into local projects and support causes that benefit our own landscape. I also researched many different materials and found its hard to trace leather from cow to material and good, ethical, eco friendly leather is extremely expensive. My focus was on the quality of the material and the mission of the company.
Based on my research many high priced items made out of leather are simply scraps of leather glued and pressed together! And no company has to provide what quality of leather they are using and where they are buying from. But leather is leather right?
And the human cost can be even greater, the documentary “True Cost” exposed that someone is paying the price for cheap fast fashion. A 5 dollar t-shirt is at the mercy of an under paid worker in an exploited country. Yes the shirt is affordable but at what cost. These are some of the main reasons why as a brand we believe that the principal of what our bags our made of and who makes them is of utmost importance.
As eba totes develops and becomes a recognizable brand, hopefully, the plan is to make sure that the mission of eco and ethical standards is in the foreground of the company. We would rather sell a well designed bag that helps the world and a lot of amazing people for a higher price, then sell a bag that only benefits the almighty dollar. Being selfish is so last season.
If you are interested in our mission you can visit www.ebatotes.com
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