Designed in Amsterdam. Handmade in Calcutta, India, in certified Fair Trade Organizations. The O MY BAG bags are not only wonderful, they have also refined details (at least now it is clear that they were designed by a woman) such as removable inner pockets and they are made of eco-leather. Harmful chemicals are anyway taboo during the manufacturing process. And yet they have now managed to produce gorgeous bright shades of eco-leather. Do you need even more to indulge your love with bags?
From Amsterdam with love – In love with bags by O MY BAG
That alone are sufficient number of reasons, to buy the wonderfully clean designed bags (in the Dashing Daisy – see below – I felt in love in january). O MY BAG makes the workers have a safe working environment in their manufactoring plants in Calcutta, pay insurances and women have an independent source of income. Two times a year the lively and bubbly label founder Paulien Wesselink is traveling for two to three weeks to India to her production facilities. Here, she also supports social projects for women who have escaped from prostitution, and helps them to learn a craft and to exercise it. Good end, good bag!
#notyourordinarybag – In love with bags
Paulien Weeselink about fair Eco-bags of O MY BAG
my-GREENSTYLE: Why do you think that you can make the world better with a bag?
Paulien Wesselink: If the product still exploits environment in its manufacture neither man, it is in my eyes the better product. If I decide to buy this, I make the world a little bit better.
Paulien always wanted to work for the UN – now she produces fantastic bags and supports the trade not Aid
my-GREENSTYLE: And you always wanted to design bags or be a do-gooder? Or how did it happen that you founded O MY BAG?
P.W.: I always wanted to work for the UN, or go into politics and then I eventually opted for trade instead of aid and so I try my contribution to a better world. Aside from the fact that I believe that the trade is more sustainable in the long term than short-term aid and charity activities.
In love with bags made fair
my-GREENSTYLE: And how it came to the name O MY BAG?
P.W.: The name shouldn`t be too serious, although my message is meant very seriously. But I want to communicate in an easy, catchy form. And therefore the first bags bore names like Dirty Harry, Sleazy Jane and Frankie Fierce and following to Oh my God, I named the label just O MY BAG. We can laugh at ourselves. And that brings our message over better than conservative seriousness.
Very important at O MY BAG: fun on sustainability
my-GREENSTYLE: Speaking serious: You are a very humorous person and renounce an admonishing finger on sustainable lifestyles. You convey rather the fun of sustainability.
P.W.: I think that’s very important. I’m also not perfect. Sometimes I have no time to buy my clothes at Ethical Brands and then I go to the large fashion chains. We are all people who live, breathe and just are not always 100 percent perfect. But it is important to be aware of is the subject and to do as much as possible to act accordingly.
We are all human, not always 100 percent perfect.
my-GREENSTYLE: Your favorite piece from the collection? And why?
P.W.: No question – this season it is definitely Audrey (229 €). The structured twotone Crossbody Bag. I travel a lot and like to use the Cotton Tote in combination with the small Audrey. Audrey is so wonderfully understated and I always feel chic with her. She has a fantastic quality leather and beautiful colors. Another plus: with her you always have your hands free.
my-GREENSTYLE: A personal idol?
P.W.: I admire Oprah Winfrey. She is an incredible great personality. I love the combination of spiritual component, her attempt to make the world a bit better, while she can be a real bad-ass business woman with own magazine, a television broadcast etc. I also admire Gloria Steinem. She is a journalist, feminist, suffragist and traveler. Strong women fascinate me. And I just read a biography of Yvon Chouinard, founder of the Outdoor label Patagonia “Let my people go surfing” – very inspiring in terms of sustainability.
Book tip “Let my people go surfing” – Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia
my-GREENSTYLE: What makes you happy?
P.W.: My friends and my family. Travel for O MY BAG – every time it makes me happy again to be in India and to spend time with the people who work for O MY BAG and to talk about new projects. But I also love it to be in Berlin. We sat together yesterday and all enjoyed the evening as a team. Such things make me very happy. To make other people happy with my label makes me happy.
Thanks for the interview, Paulien!
More love with bags: The whole wonderful collection of bags of O MY BAG found here