It took us a while to decide on making a re-usable tote as our BLACK MOON dust bag. The two big hurdles to get over were:
Were they needed? We didn’t want to be putting more 'things' out into the world if they were not necessary.
Could we make them in a 'BLACK MOON' way? We wanted to maintain our brand ethos of transparency, local production + ethical materials.
We rolled back and forth on the idea and finally decided yes, we definitely did want to help preserve your BLACK MOON leather bag but it had to be our way. Here's how we did it:
Were they needed?
A dust bag can be very limited with what it can do during its life - pop in your shoes or bag, pull the drawstring tight and done, the dust bag has achieved its sole purpose in life. Personally we thought they were a waste of time, energy and resources. One way to overcome this was to transform the dust bag into a more usable item - a tote. Problem solved right … wrong. How many ‘reusable’ totes do you have floating around your house? We went through a phase where we were accepting free totes at any event with a 'sustainable mindset’ in place, however Quartz Daily reported "According to a UK study, a cotton tote would have to be used at least 131 times before the carbon expenditure necessary to create it matched that spent creating a single plastic bag”. We do still 100% value cotton totes over plastic, but we have to be mindful of consuming too many of them & instead use the cotton totes we already have.
Could we make them in a 'BLACK MOON' way?
At BM we have some pretty strong ideas on what we want to create and how it needs to be done. After taking so much care with the leather, the production + the packaging we struggled to find a way to create the tote bags that didn’t end up costing $40 each. We Googled 'cotton promotional totes wholesale' and the search gave us pages of online companies that make it very easy to upload your print, choose your style + material and 30 days later 100+ branded totes are being shipped to Australia.
Examples of costs:
We know that out-sourcing to China and India is extremely cost effective, but its very difficult to maintain visibility of the production process or understand fully the history of the materials that are used. Because we couldn't be certain, we kept searching... and we found a local business, here in Sydney, that was paying fair wages:
Local Sydney company:
This was our detailed thought process and research that went behind one little cotton tote - what a journey!