Sunday, March 21, 2010

Whose name is on your bag?

Whose name is on your bag?

Luis Vuitton? Christian Dior? Or maybe you are more of a Vera Bradley type?

Living in New York I get to witness this strange obsession with brand name bags all the time. On a sidewalk in New York, a young man will suddenly stop in the midst of a crowd. He will glance from one side to the other, scanning the crowd. And then spread out a sheet on the ground. Next he will line that sheet with bags and purses, all the time mumbling "Luis Vuitton $40, Christian Dior $30". As though the name and the price says it all. And maybe it does.

These knock-off bags appear to do a banging business in New York. Except when a cop appears and the young man shoves all of his goods inside that sheet and hoists it over his shoulder, like a crazed-santa, and starts running.

The knock-off bag business is so popular because brand name bags are so expensive. But is a Luis Vuitton bag really worth $200? Or is it the logo we are paying for?

Now, I can see some of you laughing smugly. Happily pointing out that you have never bought a knock-off bag, or paid a ridiculous price for that brand name bag. But take a look inside your closet. I am willing to bet that you will find no shortage of names and logos on your clothes and shoes.

Surely this has to be the greatest coup in marketing history. Remember how logos and brand names used to go on the inside of clothing? On little tags that could be easily ripped out or ignored? How is it that those names have become part of the very fabric of our clothing, emblazoned on the outside as though a logo were a medal of honor? So maybe it isn't Gucci that you are wearing, but is it Northface? J Crew? L.L. Bean? I'm guessing someone's name is there.

How is it that massive companies have convinced us to donate our bodies as billboards? Not only have they found a way to get some of the most valuable advertising space in the world for free, they've got us paying extra for the privilege of wearing their publicity.

I'm sure Nike and Lacoste appreciate the donation of your body.

But would you consider donating your body to a slighly smaller operation? No, we aren't even going to do that.

It may be ok for massive companies to use you as a billboard, but we, at SHONA, expect better of ourselves... So, we are adding our logo to SHONA products, but only on the inside.

We've decided that the outside should be for something more important. Like an ACTUAL PERSON.

Instead of wearing names like Luis Vitton and Vera Bradley or even SHONA Congo, why not wear the name of a real person? In fact, why not wear the name of the person who sewed your bag?

She went to the market and chose that cloth.
She carried it home, despite the fact that she walks with crutches.
She measured and cut it by hand.
She sewed it with a hand or foot powered sewing machine.
And she will feed herself and her family with the price that you pay.

So let's create a better world.
A world where we stand for people, not corporations.

Click on our "made-by campaign"
And wear a bag with your craftwoman's name.

Stand for Someone Today.

'Made by' campaign bags feature a cloth ribbon that reads
"made by Solange Made in Congo" or
"made by Mapendo. made in Congo"
They are currently available for a select group of Mapendo and Solange's bags. Both these women have incredible stories and truly, by wearing their names you will be standing for someone who deserves to be a celebrity.

Only available while supplies last. So make your statement today!

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