Let’s face it, everybody loves a great bag! The only frustrating thing about a great bag is finding one! Yet, what actually constitutes a great bag? Is it the fact that it carries all your essentials? That it can be matched with every outfit in your closet? That both form and function standards are met?
Mid-2010, with these questions in mind, Paulien Wesselink travelled to India to visit leather manufacturers. Leather is one of India’s biggest export products, so she met with dozens of diverse producers. Paulien wanted to set up a social enterprise that would not only become profitable, but also give back by approaching business in a fair, sustainable manner. This was not going to be your ordinary bag, and a responsible approach was key.
Made from a unique kind of eco-leather, an O My Bag is a piece that you can flaunt without guilt. This is due to a cleaner and safer tanning process, a reduced carbon footprint, and leather that is made with respect for the environment. It is also a bag that gives people the opportunity to establish a better life for themselves. In the area of Kolkata, India, every O My Bag is created with love in a safe and positive atmosphere: fair wages are paid, benefits are provided for, education and training are offered, and women and minorities are given equal-work opportunities. We are proud to work with our friends in India. As our organization grows, we will be delighted to see our suppliers, tanners, and manufacturers’ organizations grow with us. By choosing to work with these carefully selected producers in India, O My Bag contributes to global issues like fighting poverty and encouraging the empowerment of women.
We’re an eco-friendly brand that produces fairly-made handbags and accessories. We’re not granola-munching, kale juice-chugging, freedom-fighting hippies, but we do have our principles. Eco-friendly is only a label for how our products are made, but shouldn’t set a precedent for how they look and how they’ll feel. We don’t sacrifice quality and style for principle, because to us, they’re one and the same.
We produce not your ordinary bags.
We believe that consumers have the ability to change the world we live in. You don’t have to become the next great leader, an award-winning surgeon, or turn into Kim Kardashian to make a global impact. We as consumers have the ability to create a worldwide demand for products made with respect for not only the environment, but also the people that make them. By providing our producers with access to the global market, we connect them with customers that love a great bag!
We believe in trade, not aid.
So put down the green juice and stop flicking at your quinoa, we have something that will not only make you look good, but also feel good. We believe vintage can be modern, classic can be edgy, minimalism can still use a pop of color, and eco-friendly is fashionable. We believe we can change the world, one bag at a time.
We are O My Bag Amsterdam