Reclaim, Reuse, Recycle. Repatriate. As more cities ban disposable bags, reusable grocery totes have become popular fashion accessories. Step it up a notch with a reusable grocery tote made from recycled plastic bottles. Even better, the fabric, the bag, (and the pouches) are made right here in the USA with six (or more) colors to choose from.
Introducing the Utility Pouch. To help organize your personal miscellany in your new tote (or any bag), we're offering this handy zippered utility pouch. Makes a great pen case, stand-alone clutch or journal folio.
The Fabric Story. A few years ago we tried making bags with expensive wool tweed fabric, only to discover that the bags wore out quickly when subjected to everyday use (that's why tweed jackets have elbow patches). We were disappointed with the performance of the fabric, but we fell in love with the classic herringbone and houndstooth patterns.
Undeterred, we contacted one of the few remaining upholstery fabric mills in the United States to ask about manufacturing upholstery-grade fabric in these wonderful historic patterns. As a result, we developed a partnership with the mill and designed our own Rickshaw Performance Tweed (TM), using rugged polyester yarns made from recycled plastic beverage bottles, and treated with a high-tech eco-friendly stain-resistant coating.
We managed to bootstrap our first collection in the herringbone pattern. Now we're appealing to the Kickstarter community to help us launch our new houndstooth collection. We have already designed the pattern, tested color combinations, and selected our six favorite colors for this project. We have several more colors we like, and we'll add as many as possible if we exceed our funding goal. Your backing will allow us to purchase the minimum yardage of each color so that we can produce these wonderful reusable grocery totes and matching utility pouches, and ultimately make the houndstooth fabric available for all of our other bag styles. For any of you who are new to Kickstarter, you will choose your colors in a survey that will be sent to you after the funding period ends.
Savings! These fabulous tote bags will soon retail for $39, and the utility pouches for $25, so we're offering our Kickstarter backers a great opportunity to get the first ones for about half the retail price plus sales tax and US shipping.
Bonus! Now in Nine Colors! (Updated 11/1/13)
Initial Color Poll Results (11/4/13)
Just for fun, as reported in Update #6, here are the results of the color preference survey I conducted via email on November 4 (54-percent participation in 24 hours). I did this to get an early indication of my fabric requirements. Black is the favorite, of course, but not quite by the margin I thought it would be. Red and Blue are second. Forest, Olive and Purple are third. Finally, Orange, Pink and Brown. Here are the numbers and pie charts for you.
Risks and challenges
We make our own bags in our own factory, right here in San Francisco. We've been in business for over six years, so we know how to get this job done. Likewise, our fabric manufacturing partner has been in business for over 70 years, so they're experts at weaving. Together, we have the equipment and the expertise, so once funded, we're ready to weave, cut and sew. And we don't have to wait for a boat to deliver the finished bags. If this project exceeds our funding goals, the production may take longer than expected. But rest assured, we will not seek assistance from an overseas manufacturer. It will just take us longer to make your bags and pouches here in San Francisco. Thanks for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)