Bags for a cause: rHope

Jul 28, 2013

Social enterprises are amazing.  If you haven't come across one before, a social enterprise is essentially a for-profit business created to do a social good.  TOMS is a great example; the company is profitable, but the whole point was to give shoes to people in need.

So when I found rHope, I was hooked.  It used to be that making a sustainable or ethical purchase meant giving something up.  I remember the early days of sustainable toilet paper; you really had to love the planet to use that stuff.  But now, companies like rHope are making it possible to have beautiful well-made products that do more than make you feel fashionable.

rHope is a U.S. vendor for Chhoti Si Asha, an initiative supporting women in the "urban slums" of India.  Through the Stitch-a-Living program, women in India learn to make on-trend bags, wallets and more, for which they are paid a higher than average wage.  rHope takes these bags and makes them available in the U.S.
My favorite is the Babloo Messenger Bag in burgundy (to the left, also shown in green above).  This beautiful crossbody is perfect for a weekend day.  Of course, the fabric is to die for.  Look at that red!  This particular bag has one inner pocket, a good way to keep track of your cell phone and keys.  Each bag is a little different, and I've seen zip pockets and other small changes.  The burgandy Babloo has a wide strap, which I love on this bag, but the patterned print versions have an adjustable thinner strap if you're looking for something slightly different.

rHope's bags sell fast.  I can't believe they're only $35 each; when you think about what your purchase does, it's hard to believe the price tag.  And since shipping is free, I might just have to pick up a Saroj Sling Bag while I'm at it.

Thanks to rHope for the photos.


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