I love canvas bags.
Handbags, beach bags, grocery bags, you name it. And if the bag is made from 100% organic cotton, I go a little bit crazy for it.
Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Ragnhild Greve-Isdahl, one of the founders of the My Biotiful Bag brand–aka my new favorite canvas bag supplier. My Biotiful Bag (pronounced either beautiful or bio-tiful) is a line of consciously produced, GOTS certified organic cotton canvas bags that come in a bevy of colors and styles. I first learned of the brand when I attended the MIA Green Conference & Expo last month, at which Isdahl had a booth set up. It was there that I purchased my own Biotiful Bag, and ever since I have been carrying my green portfolio around practically everywhere.
The line was founded in Paris by Isdahl and her business partner and friend, Colette Guigue, in early 2010, and it has already seen immense success both in Europe and the states. Isdahl told me that the concept for My Biotiful Bag “Started with our desire to create a fashion brand that was sustainable. A brand with a vocation to give back and raise awareness for the environment [and] the organic cotton industry.” Such statements are becoming more common with the ever-growing Green trend, yet not too often are those statements backed up by someone with a true passion to their commitment. Isdahl is one of those rare individuals who possess a healthy balance of wit, wisdom, honesty, and unmistakable passion, and when she speaks those qualities radiate from within her. I think that was the main pull for me towards this brand–the thoroughly refreshing lack of BS. These two women are out to create well-made, beautiful, versatile bags for people who care about how and where the products they buy are made. People who care, period.
Which brings me to the question I always, always ask when I look at a new garment or accessory to purchase: Where was it made? Usually I avoid items that were manufactured in China, and try to buy things made in the USA whenever I can. My Biotiful Bags are in fact manufactured in China, but when I asked Isdahl about the reasons, she didn’t shy away or try to change the subject. In fact, she gave me a completely straight-forward answer: “We made the conscious choice to start producing in China because that is where we have cultivated 25 years [of] experience and key relationships with our two main partners in the industry. The suppliers are regularly audited and conform to all local labor laws on working conditions and safety, prohibit child labor, allow unions and do not discriminate. We are committed to the best quality, [and] our Chinese partners can guarantee and surpass our quality controls.”
So there you have it. A brand with eco-awareness, style, function, and sincerity– a brilliant mix of all the right ingredients.
*Last two photos from My Biotiful Bag website*