If you think you've seen some bearded bike messengers with surprisingly sleek looking bags lately, it's not your imagination. Rickshaw bag company has come onto the San Francisco scene strongly, beginning a mere three years ago. Mark Dwight, an avid enthusiast for biking, San Francisco, and all things sustainable, founded Rickshaw Bags combining all those ideals into a bag line. Every detail of the company is embedded with his passions: from the name Rickshaw (meaning human-powered vehicle), to the locality (every bag constructed in SF), to the actual products (made via an innovative zero waste process).
Dwight's zealousness is infectious, and it's not just because his smile goes from ear to ear. He believes in his bags, and his business practices make it easy for anyone to believe in them too. The "zero" of the Zero Messenger Bag begins at the pattern, laser cut to reduce fabric waste and constructed to utilize every piece of fabric as well. What inevitable scraps do result, are used as cushioning for the bottom of the bag. Dwight also customized the polyester textile used for Rickshaw bags out of 100% recycled material; making last week's sprite bottle into a herringbone tweed suitable for a gentleman. In his green pursuit, Dwight also set up an up-cycling program with Levi's—utilizing small, unusable for jeans, denim swatches in his bag designs.
Recognizing a market for locality in products, Dwight also founded SFMade, an organization focused on distinguishing companies who make their goods in San Francisco proper. Each Rickshaw bag is cut and sewn in the Dog Patch district of San Francisco, employing a local work force with six stations stitching up bags daily.
Rickshaw bags proudly bear the SFMade logo, as do 90 other companies that are now members.
If you could care less about being environmentally conscious and the polar bear population isn't that important to you—the bags also just look really cool. Hop on the interweb or visit their warehouse store to pick from five products and seemingly unlimited color choices to set your own fashion trend. Completely customizable down to the accessories inside, a Rickshaw bag is likely to convert any gas guzzling Scrooge.