Post by Tracy Kaler.
Beach time is just around the corner, and every chic beachgoer needs a stylish bag to stash the sunblock, water bottle, cover-up, and a great summer read. At Charles P. Rogers, we happened to discover these colorful totes made from rice sacks and animal feed sacks in Cebu, Philippines. Can you believe that any item this lovely would be constructed of sacks? We think the bags make for an ideal beach tote, but beyond their aesthetic, RecyBags have a terrific, heartwarming story too.
The bags are made by a group of Filipino women in partnership with the Rise Above Foundation, a team of volunteers working to improve the lives of the poor and underprivileged in Cebu. Launched in 2009, the RecyBag program gives these struggling women a sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency that they wouldn’t have otherwise, enabling them to provide for their families.
“The RecyBags program has helped me a lot. Now my son’s education will be sponsored….And we also have wonderful people who always encourage us.” – Imelda S. Comon, 45 years old, RecyBag Artisan
Unsurprisingly, the making of these beautiful bags is a bit of a process. Each woman has been trained to cut and fold each strip carefully, weaving one by one until they’ve created the perfect bag. A handwoven tote takes about 10 to 12 hours to cut and weave.
Even if you’re not a beach lover, RecyBags make an excellent travel bag, carryall, or even a warm-weather handbag. As a stylish gal myself, I can imagine strutting around New York City with a fashionable RecyBag on my shoulder!
Sold locally in the Philippines and spotted in other countries like the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and Japan, RecyBags are becoming popular the world over. And now, the bags are available in New York and New Jersey too. Charles P. Rogers will be giving away bags (while supplies last) in our showrooms from May 20th through 30th. Anyone who purchases a sheet set at our Flatiron or New Jersey showroom during the promotion will automatically go home with one of these fabulous RecyBags, just in time for the summer season.
“Ever since I started in the RecyBags program, I don’t worry about our daily needs anymore, unlike before, I didn’t have a source of income yet.” – Juanita Baclay, 52 years old, RecyBags Artisan
Charles P. Rogers
26 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
For more info on RecyBags, visit the Facebook page.