Be For Change


Wood Veneer Tags

Bag For ChangeAna Carneiro
upcycled sustainable wooden tags

We have new bag tags!

Now shipping with every order, our tags are 100% natural.

Starting with beautiful veneer scraps donated by a woodworking workshop, which we cut, stamped and hole-punched by hand and in-house (we do love our share of the action!). On the reverse you'll find tidbits of information printed on recycled paper. It's all bound together with jute string. That's it! No glue or any other unnecessary stuff. And we've been taking home any tags we mess up to use as book markers, 'cause they're too pretty to be trashed :D

Have you made a recent purchase and received one? Share your photos/thoughts using #BFCwoodtag

Why we up-cycle

Bag For ChangeAna Carneiro
Up-cycling - the creation of value in a product or material without breaking it down

After years in the shadows of recycling, we say it's high time that up-cycling got it's share of the limelight! It has gotten a bad rep after years of association with shabby DIY tutorials but, really, up-cycling can be great! 

To start with, it is less energy and resource intensive than recycling - it is actually closer to Reuse than Recycle if you think back to the 3Rs policy. That has been part of the reason why many individuals and companies have stayed away from it: we live in a culture that values what's new above almost all else. But what is new and what is old? For example, is the fabric used in last season's fashion collection old, despite having been produced less than 2 years ago and still having 30 or more years of optimal performance when stored under the right conditions? When putting such perceptions and facts side by side, I often find myself amazed at how the last decades of fast-consumerism made us loose perspective.

Secondly, products with heritage have been gaining traction. We've seen a number of brands show us how their products go through the hands of skilled craftsman and romanticise the notions of savoir faire and slowing down for the things that matter. We fully support this direction, but as you may have noticed, more often than not, products with a story are overpriced and not necessarily sustainable. We want to create products which have heritage and sustainability not only at the core of their manufacture, but also their material sourcing. By using materials which were going to be thrown away, the story of our products starts even before their production.

By sourcing materials from partnering companies, we get only the small amount they no longer have use for. This both reflects itself in high-quality materials at a low price and in a very limited amount of each piece. We actually couldn't make more of a product if we wanted to!, just more of the same model in other materials.

Manufacturing Bag for Change

Bag For ChangeAna Carneiro
cutting fabric

Where? In the North of Portugal, at a small and ethical company called Dapit 

Why? The region is traditionally linked to the textile industry and this company employs both experienced and young people to whom they teach the trade. Their operations are run in a sustainable way, with most of their textile waste being recycled.

My previous experience in the textile area in Portugal was what triggered the idea of upcycling fabric (as opposed to sourcing a sustainably made, yet more expensive, material). Striking the deal for being allowed use of the fabric was only made possible by working in collaboration with someone whom companies already knew and trusted - Dapit. Upon the material being secured we could have chosen to walk away with it. The decision of not manufacturing the bags in-house hinged on the recognition of their expertise. Surely I could buy a professional sewing machine and sew myself, but that would impact the quality of the final product and would take longer than having skilled hands do what they know best. I'm sure that trusting Dapit with our bags resulted in a better product finished in less time, and therefore also less expensive.

Portugal is a country in which we are proud to manufacture (and I'm not just saying that because I'm Portuguese). In Portugal, we have found people passionate about what they do, happy to establish a close relationship with their clients and who really go the extra mile to deliver something special. The country is also heavily invested in relying solely in renewable energy, with more than 50% to be produced from renewable sources by 2020 - a target which seems increasingly plausible after Portugal run on wind, solar and hydro power for 4 days straight in May (The Guardian). We believe our decision of partnering with a Portuguese company to not only make financial sense but also that it is the best way of rewarding people's personal investment in the quality of their work and the government's investment in a sustainable future.