Ragbags are upcycled, 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' in the slums of New Delhi and Calcutta and in a village in Tamil Nadu.
From Rag to Bag.
Ragbags 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, the 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 the initiative of Siem Haffmans (right picture), who studied Industrial Design. In 2005 he founded Ragbag, after being invited to come 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. After that, he asked young Dutch designers to design bags. Within a short time, the first Ragbag was made. The colour combinations of the Indian producers surprise him. But: ‘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 products like organizers and wallets.