Growing up, canvas bags have been around ever since we can remember. As the daughters of first generation immigrants, we grew up with the perpetual "hustle." Starting in the 1990s and well into early 2000s, our dad would work day and night to get his business off the ground. He was a small business owner to the core -- he wore several hats from fork lift driver to order packer to screen-printer to financial lead and CEO. He ran the business like he did everything else in his life: 100% all the time. Before "green product" became a buzzword and eco-friendly and biodegradable became widely-used marketing terms, our dad saw canvas as a superior material to easily customize and replace economical petroleum-based totes. We witnessed this enthusiasm toward meaningful work and learned to appreciate his strong work ethic-- not just in his promotional canvas bag business, but in any new venture he undertook. He genuinely and passionately believed in his work and led with that example.
When we think of our mission for ShoreBags, it's very closely aligned with that passion principle. It's the complete blind faith and enthusiasm toward giving meaning to something as simple as a tote bag. It highlights the importance of simple decisions and hoping our customers are deliberate in their purchase of our bags and supporting brands like ours. None of these values would have any meaning unless we focus on being sustainable and ethical on a local level. Being working women we not only respect but highly appreciate financial independence. No matter the gender, financial freedom brings confidence and independence.
One of our mission values at ShoreBags is women empowerment and we believe providing sustainable employment and opportunities to women from marginalized communities speaks to this core value. We work to maintain at least a 50% women workforce in our factory. Aside from providing a fair wage and stable employment, we also provide a comfortable and safe working environment for all our employees, regardless of gender.
Our passion for women empowerment is further fueled by recent life changes for both of us. Being moms to little girls has given us more drive to lead by example and equalize the playing field however we can. This work encompasses instigating good that is tangible and transparent. Being a for-profit company does not mean simply maximizing financial gains, it also means being environmentally responsible and providing opportunities to those who lack them. Hoping that our kids get to enjoy this planet as much as us, it breaks our heart to see dozens of profit-driven companies harm the environment and our beautiful planet for the sake of ease and convenience. Our love for the environment and commitment to sustainability keeps us true to only producing biodegradable, eco positive and high-quality multi-use bags and accessories. As moms on-the-go, we know the importance of versatility and ShoreBags are meant to be one of the most flexible, versatile, and classic accessories in your closet.
While being women-owned greatly affects how we build practicality and purpose into our bags, here is what being minority-women-owned does NOT mean:
- special treatment or excuse for mediocre product
- only focus on the brand with no detail to quality
- depriving talented skilled artisans who are male to work in our factory
- focus only on women's lifestyle needs
- hiring of only women in key roles within ShoreBags
INSTEAD, here are the facts:
- extremely HIGH focus on quality and production of each piece
- high quality products, competitive pricing and superior customer experience are our biggest business priorities
- Over 40% of our factory workforce is male and over half of them have been with us for over 5 years
- ShoreBags are designed with all users in mind. We create special totes for men, women, kids as well as gender neutral styles to accessorize for all types of customers
- Our creative marketing director at ShoreBags is an extremely talented male executive as is the production lead at our family's factory
Over the next few weeks, we hope to highlight some key aspects of our manufacturing process and our team in India. Please follow along to see how your purchase supports our mission. Thank you for evolving your bag and being part of the ShoreBags family!
Nidhi and Manasi