Ragbag is a brand for recycled, fair and fashionable bags and accessories, made in different places in India. Ragbags are made of recycled plastic bags, big teabags and cotton rags. These are collected and fabricated by 'ragpickers' and women's groups in the slums of New Delhi and Calcutta and in a small village in Tamil Nadu.
Our bags are made of waste materials, that are collected by ‘ragpickers’, cleaned and fabricated into new products. We use the concept of ‘upcycling’: waste materials are refabricated into new products with a higher value.
Ragbag is a brand that follows the ten fair trade principles of WFTO, World Fair Trade Organization. Our production partners are members of Fair Trade Forum India (FTF-India). We pay a fair price to the ragpickers and fabricators, providing them and their families ‘means of livelihood’ and access to more opportunities.
The design of the bags is made by talented Dutch designers educated at the Rietveld Academy and the Design Academy.
Ragbag is founed by Siem Haffmans (right), who studied Industrial Design. In 2005 he started Ragbag, after a visit to Delhi for a conference on sustainable design. There he met Anita Ahuja (left picture) who had invented a process of pressing plastic waste bags together into colourful sheets. He asked young Dutch designers to design bags and within a short time, the first Ragbag was made. The colour combinations of the Indian producers surprise him. ‘That gives an Indian feeling to the product. I want to give them space for new ideas.’ Siem says. In the meantime Ragbag expanded with other collections and products like organizers and wallets.
Ragbag has won different awards:
- Nominated for the Green Product Award 2016
- Nominated for the most sustainable brand of the Netherlands in 2013
- ‘Brands with a conscience’ Award in 2009
- Nominated for the ‘German Design Award’ in 2007
- First price ‘Egg of Columbus’ in 2006
- Winner ‘European Business Award for the Environment’ in 2006
- Nominated for ‘Nederlandse Design Prijzen’ in 2006
- Second price for the ‘Business in Development Challange’ in 2005