Two German Ladies Make An Eco-IT Bag In Poland...
...And maybe there is a revolution in that.
Computers are the new social currency, and how we carry them around is as much our status as our choice between iOS and XP.
Tatjana, from Germany, is the associate of mySTid and partner of Samka, the CEO of an innovative computer bag company based in Germany. Tatjana and Samka had been friends for years and lamented the inability to find trendy and sustainable bags for their busy corporate lifestyle.
Tatjana explained to me the idea of sustainability and social currency in relation to computer bags as she shouldered a sleek black model and gave me a cat-walk demonstration. While I was laughing, I could see what she was saying as we went for a walk in the main shopping district of über-trendy Hamburg.
They use a fine imitation leather, otherwise known as ‘pleather’, made famous by vegan designer Stella McCartney, where no animal is harmed in process.
The ladies explained to me that their idea of sustainability in the bag manufacturing and IT accessories world means that it is made under fair conditions, and production is ecologically best practice and responsible. Traditionally, the IT and telecommunications industry is known for not being enviro-friendly, digging out nickel and copper, natural resources that drain our earth for connectivity and data. Samka said that the textiles industry also has a reputation for being anti-green.
‘’We thought that by bringing two of the big resource killers together, IT and textiles, we could bring something valuable to the market with a totally good conscience-fashion-item. Not just being watchful of the footprint, but also that it matches the stiletto.’’ Samka says.
The ladies explain, like friends do, finishing each other’s sentences about the reason for the IT-bag and trend status. Laptops, smart phones and tablets are multi-function devices that operate in work and play, as a media device, a calendar, camera and window to the outside world. They are not just practical, they are essential in today’s communication.
Communication is now always with us, and our tools are too. So they have to look as good as well as give value to our lives.
Which is where Tatjana tells me about the social currency of technology and accessories.
‘’It’s no longer trendy to have a connected laptop or device; it is the connection between these tools and your personal style. Just as an Apple computer reflects an inherently creative person, so too should the bags, be a reflection of the vision and style of the wearer,’’ she says.
mySTid are produced with stain resistant eco material, so spilt coffee and sticky chocolate fingers simply bead off. The bags have extra padding. They are light to carry and are super durable.
I know, because the test one I had for a week endured a chocolate event, carrying wine bottles when I took my laptop out and even became my seat protector while waiting at a wet train station.
They are manufactured by some families who live on site in Poland. This is because many b2b companies want their own customized bags, with logo and statements on them. Coming from big families themselves, the girls decided to work with a specific Polish family for the final production who take care of their precious eco fabrics and send out orders with very quick turnarounds.
‘’In the end, we just feel like a big family ourselves. Samka lives in the south of Germany, me in the north and our customers all over Europe. We visit the guys in Poland and usually we all end up after a day in the factory around a giant wooden table in the communal kitchen, drinking schnapps, sketching new designs and just sharing the stories of our kids and what’s going on in the world,’’ Tatjana explains.
Tatjana’s little toddler comes up to us, obviously a little bored from the adult conversation and smashes her half chewed pretzel into Tatjana’s own mySTid bag. She laughs, and wipes the giant cheesy smudge off with her sleeve as a mother does. NO trace has been left on the bag and I really see the point between the eco material and design that is made for life. Because, if it wasn’t her daughter's pretzel, I am sure it would have been mine. Sometimes, we are all a bit clumsy. So let’s be prepared.
Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl is a 3rd generation social entrepreneur, but the path to evolving a Change Maker wasn’t so easy as she spent a decade in giant corporations working for profit and became seriously ill with stomach tumours. She gave it all up to start a social enterprise in Ecuador to re-invent how we know chocolate as her example of how food systems could be better and how nutrition can be gastronomy delights as well as health-ful.
Lyss regularly speaks at events in business and corporate responsibility, from the Middle East to Europe to India. She has been a regular writer for business portals, trend magazines, while carving out chocolate expertise. Lyss created single bean virgin chocolate, which has been labeled by culinary chefs and sommeliers from Europe to the Gulf as “the most pure chocolate in the world”. As you travel along with her too, you will come to know this yourself. Read more about here here.
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