The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Tuesday 26 May 2015

The O My Bag Interview.

Until fairly recently Eco-Friendly/Fair Trade items were all smocks and boho styles.  Then came the H&M conscious collection and websites like Reformation and Zady.  Finally responsible clothing started to become available to the ethically minded fashion forward chick.  Looking for an eco leather bag however is still both a joy and, if I'm honest, an absolute pain in the hole. 
So I was pretty happy when I came across O My Bag whilst in Boudior Femme recently.  These bags are a soft luxurious leather and feel velvety smooth, as if they have been yours for decades already.  My favourite has to be the red Sleazy Jane, (below) as I've not seen its like before.  With sustainablity and fair trade being a major priority for this 5 year old company I wanted to find out a bit more and approached founder Paulien Wesselink for an interview and review.    Full disclosure they weren't as generous as some other brands I've worked with (meaning they didn't gift a product to me for trial) so can't do a review as I usually would.  However due to O My Bag's mindset, them being kind enough to answer my questions and give a 10% discount to my readers with the code themiddlesister  I wanted to give you guys the chance to find out all about them for yourselves - Behold the O My Bag Interview.
Sleazy Jane Red €279
What first drew you to handbag design?
Let’s face it, everybody loves a great bag! But I could not find the perfect one! What is actually key for a great bag? It has to carry all your essentials, and be carried everywhere in every occasion and be matched with every outfit in your closet. In 2010, I travelled to India to visit leather manufacturers with these points in mind. I wanted to set up a social enterprise that would not only become profitable, but also give back by approaching business in a fair, sustainable manner.  

How long does the process take from conception to completion?
The whole process takes about seven months. The first month is about the designing process. Then the next month is about sampling and the trip to India where we make samples and we deal with the pricing. The next four months is the production phase, where all the bags are being produced in the fabrics and shipped to Amsterdam. 

Popsicle Canvas Tote Yellow €59
Tell me a little more about the eco-friendly aspects of your business?
The leather is produced in a tannery without any harmful chemicals like chromium PCP and Azo dyes, and is called eco-leather. This is due to a cleaner, safer tanning process and reduced carbon footprint.  O My Bag’s eco-leather process is double the EU standard, making it twice as progressive and healthier for people and the planet.  The people that make the bags get the opportunity to establish a better life for themselves. Every O My Bag is created with love in a safe & positive atmosphere. Here fair wages are paid, benefits are provided for, education and training are offered, and women and minorities are given equal-work opportunities. 

Where did you get your inspiration for your current collection?
The current collection is the Suit Up collection. I wanted to give the working consumer and the man a bit more attention. So the business people and the man were put in the sunlight. 

How do you decide who gets the honour of a product being named after them?
A lot of the products are named after people I know. It could be that the person gave the inspiration for the bag or had some idea for the design or a part in the process of the bag. The Betsy, Ally, Jazzy Jess and Lou’s big bag are all named after colleagues but the Dirty Harry and Sleazy Jane are just cheeky names that work well with the look of the bag.

How would you describe the typical O My Bag Customer?

The typical customer is the responsible shopper, who cares about the fair-trade and eco-leather aspect of O My Bag, but who also loves an amazing leather bag.  The typical customer would be a working woman in her late twenties or thirties who would take her O My Bag everywhere, from work to a night out! 

Ally Bag Maxi  €199
What’s coming up next season for O My Bag?
Next season is all about the canvas leather combination with the colourful shoppers, the weekender bag and the exciting circular bag.  There will also be more camel leather colours since the summer is coming! 

What do you think? you likey?

The above interview has been edited somewhat, basically due to a few of the answers being a tad long!

themiddlesister discount code is valid until 10th June 2015


Lauren said...

Great interview and gorgeous bags! Are they sold in shops anywhere or just online? x

TmS said...

Thanks, you can get them from Boudoir Femme in Cambridge and a few stores in and around London.... But the 10% discount must be used online.

Unknown said...

Such a great review! Thx for sharing, I like the Ally Bag Maxi a lot :D

TmS said...

That was my favourite esp. as it has my name.... That is until I saw Sleazy Jane! said...

I don't know the brand but I do like the minimal Ally bag.

TmS said...

They were new to me as well until I came across them in Boudoir Femme a local boutique in Cambridge.

maries_connections said...

lovely hand bags :)

Life At Victoria House said...

I love the ally bag maxi :) It looks such good quality! <3

TmS said...

Me too! It's crazy soft to touch. Discount code valid til 19th June if you're thinking about treating yourself!

Amelie xona said...

Amazing bags.. They really looks good. I love buying bags like this at Debenhams.. I always use Debenhams Discount Code

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