Archive | September, 2014

People, Planet, Profit: Kahawabags!

29 Sep

Kahawabags are fashionable ladies bags made out of jute, coffee beanbags and leather. The merits of the brand return to the coffee farmers and the makers of the bags. Hereby, Kahawabags contributes to corporate social responsibility. It sounds almost too good to be true, but there is much more behind it.

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Sylvia Kalia is the founder of Kahawabags. During her travels through Africa, she became fascinated by the colors, the smells, the materials and especially by the people of this continent. When she came back home and saw the coffee bags at the coffee roasting house Peeze, her thoughts went back to her African journey. She wanted to bring the experience, the whole atmosphere she felt in Africa, back to the Netherlands.

But what is Kahawa? Kahawa means “coffee” in Swahili. So, the jute bags, in which the beans come from Eastern Africa to the Netherlands, are called Kahawabags. The coffee roasting house Peeze delivers the jute bags to Kahawabags, in which they supplied the raw coffee for their business from all over the world.

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The company Peeze is a coffee roasting company in Arnhem which stands for durability. All coffee beans are purchased on plantations which aspire the ‘ 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact ‘. This provides fair working conditions and a responsible use of the environment. The most important aspects the company focuses on, are international human rights, prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of child labour, responsible use of the environment and a ban on forced labor.

Peeze stands for coffee with a good story. All coffee is 100% certified with the Max Havelaar/BIO-or the Rainforest Alliance certification. In addition, Peeze is going to compensate the CO2 emissions in Ethiopia in exchange with the organic Fairtrade coffee beans. The result is new and unique: climate neutral Fairtrade coffee with compensation at the source.

Sylvia collaborated with this company to start with the design of Kahawabags in a sustainable, fair way. A special balance between people, planet and profit.

Kahawabags is a commercial enterprise, with an eye for the social environment. The company recycles, creates employment and supports coffee and tea farmers all over the world. They work together with suppliers who are socially involved and who have sustainability also on a high standard. A part of the yield of the sold bags return to the Peeze Foundation, thus to various coffee projects in the countries of origin. In fact, not only the coffee farmers are having benefit because part of the profit flows back to the Peeze Foundation, they also collaborate with the studios of ‘Mode met een Missie’ of Kommak Foundation to help migrants to integrate in the Netherlands.

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The Government also has its opinion on Kahawabags. Minister Plasterk of Binnenlandse zaken spoke highly of the initiative. ‘ The re-use of material is already beautiful. But certainly the approach, in which women are active who haven’t got any direct access to the labour market yet. That’s a very nice project. ‘

That the coffee bags of coffee roasting Peeze are being processed into fashionable bags by Kahawabags nowadays, doesn’t only ensure a social statement, but also a fashion statement. The stylish, authentic bags that are fully hand-made. This exclusivity, combined with the feeling of yields its beneficial effects, ensure that you help the world a little bit in a sustainable, fair way by buying a fashionable Kahawabag.

Kahawabags is a nice example within the sustainability trend in the sectors Appearance and Living. They combine fashion with durability, a combination that is been appreciated more and more nowadays. By showing such initiatives, people get the feeling that they can help to make the world a better place by making a small contribute (in this case, buying a bag). This enables them to contribute to the social well-being of farmers in poor countries, which enhances nog only the Quality of Life of the farmers, but also their own, by helping other people.