By Shea & Raan Parton
Recently, we asked the community on Instagram what color they wanted next for our weekly Sunday release and there were a lot of great ideas. We're excited to announce the most voted for idea. Meet the Striped Monogram Bag in Pink with gold foil. It comes in two styles The Petite Market Bag and the standard sized Market Bag, both are a limited run (only 50 styles each) and specially designed by our Apolis Print Shop. Not only do these new bags genuinely benefit the Bangladeshi mothers who handcraft them, but they are designed to have a low impact on the environment by featuring long leather handles made in an environmentally conscientious way. Learn more below:
Leather Handles Made Right
Because we believe the products you purchase help shape the world we live in, we want to make products with as little environmental impact to the environment as possible. That’s why the market bags feature leather handles made using an environmentally friendly process.
Every pair of handles features LITE leather — LITE standing for Low Impact To the Environment — made by ISA TanTec, an internationally recognized and externally audited organization committed to eco-friendly products. The leather itself is sourced from a fully traceable meat processing facility, with cows treated according to high standards of animal welfare.
ISA TanTec’s production facilities use bamboo walls, solar power and wind energy, natural light, rainwater, and engineered wetlands to maximize eco-friendliness. They seek to minimize the number of chemicals and energy used in the process, resulting in leather handles that are high-quality, reliable and made in an environmentally conscientious way. You can learn more about the process here.
Eco-Friendly Jute Fiber
All of our bags are also made from golden jute fiber, which comes from the stem and outer skin of the plant. For centuries, Bangladesh has been one of the world's top producers of this environmentally friendly plant. While visiting one of the co-ops behind the market bag in 2017, I kept seeing bridges with jute hanging off the sides to dry. It seems like jute is everywhere in Bangladesh –even on the money, as many taka coins prominently feature an image of jute leaves.
The fibers are extracted by bundling jute stems together and immersing them in running water. The raw fibers are then transported to the wonderful folks at our manufacturing co-ops, who craft them into the bags you know and love. One of the best things about jute fiber is that it is strong and durable, yet is sustainably harvested in a way that doesn't negatively impact the local economy or environment.
We're so pleased to say that our long-lasting and durable market bags feature eco-friendly materials like the jute fiber and conscientiously sourced leather. Check out the images below of the eco-conscious process behind the market bag's leather handles, including an infographic on how these handles result in practical energy savings.