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Rickshaw Bagworks

"Zero" Messenger Bags

Nothing Wasted, Everything Gained

It’s easy to get carried away by these messenger bags.

The “Zero” messenger bag from Rickshaw Bagworks is designed to eliminate wasted material. Scraps created during production are used in the bags and shipping materials, so nothing gets tossed. Read more about this in our blog. Zero bags are crafted from post-consumer material, sourced from U.S. companies and the bags are hand-made in San Francisco. When it’s time to retire the bag (think years and years from now), it’s recyclable.

The man behind Rickshaw is Mark
Dwight (right), who set out to create a more sustainable, less wasteful bag – and he didn’t skimp on looks, either. The Zero bag (available in four sizes) has a sleek, streamlined shape that highlights Rickshaw’s incredible fabrics and urban sensibility.

Dane Pieri discovered Rickshaw; he lives around the corner from the company’s factory. Dane’s unwavering enthusiasm for the Zero bag led to a trek across the country by Jules (his mom), who handpicked fabrics for 4 Daily Grommet designs. If you prefer to design your own bag , it’s easy since each Rickshaw bag is made to order. (For free shipping on Rickshaw’s site, use discount code: dailygrommet.) And if you live near San Francisco, you can even watch yours being made.

— Ann
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Mark
    Mark

    I'm Mark Dwight, the company founder. I started Rickshaw three years ago to pursue my passion for bags and bicycles, and my interest in sustainable design and manufacturing. In addition to designing stylish and functional bags, we focus on ways to minimize waste and environmental impact. We make fresh bags daily, right here in our SF factory. We're delighted and honored to be today's Daily Grommet, and we welcome the opportunity to interact with you. I'm here with Chris, Kati, Lisa and Joe to answer any questions you might have about our products, our company, our favorite bicycle rides, or the weather out here in SF. Thanks for tuning in.

  • Chris
    Chris
    8/9/2010 12:00 PM

    Hello Grommets! We’re so excited to have Rickshaw featured today on the

    Daily Grommet. I started working for Rickshaw because I was passionate about their focus on sustainability, innovation and local craft. I’m so excited to have the chance to share those values with you and show you some of our products which are made right here in San Francisco. Here at Rickshaw we believe in the power of the “human powered revolution” --that is, our ability to change for good. In fact that’s the inspiration for our name which literally translates to “human powered vehicle.” Each of you is a powerful vehicle for change and we can’t wait to hear what inspires you.

  • nadine
    nadine
    8/9/2010 12:29 PM

    Hello...can you please tell me the measurements of the four bags that

    are offered on the Grommet web site..

    This would be helpful in ordering the correct bag for all to see.

    Good Job!

  • joanne
    joanne – Grommet Team
    8/9/2010 12:35 PM

    @nadine you can find all the bag dimensions in the details.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/9/2010 12:36 PM

    I love the zero waste manufacturing!!

    The Rickshaw Bags have a Free Shipping Offer for the Continental US. You do need to add 'dailygrommet' where it asks for a Promo Code in the ordering process.

    I have pulled over the colorways and measurements from the details tab, they are:

    4 Daily Grommet colorways:



    • Blue Skies – Outside: Blue Skies Cordura, Inside: Flannel Cordura, Binding: Mint Green Cordura

    • Steel – Outside: Steel Cordura, Inside: Earl Grey Tweed, Binding: Chocolate Cordura

    • Cave – Outside: Cave Cordura, Inside: Earl Grey Tweed, Binding: Chocolate Cordura

    • Mod Green Pod Glimmer – Outside: Mod Green Pod Glimmer Organic Cotton (blue print), Inside: Earl Grey Tweed, Binding: Blue Skies Cordura


    External dimensions of each size:


    • Mini: 8.5"H x 7.5"W x 4"D

    • Small: 10" H x 14" W x 6" D

    • Medium: 11" H x 19" W x 6" D – fits up to a 13 inch laptop

    • Large: 12.5" H x 22" W x 9" D – fits up to a 15 inch laptop


    There are two front pockets under flap (in each size except the mini which has one front pocket)

  • Chris
    Chris
    8/9/2010 12:43 PM

    Tough choice but if I had to pick, I'd choose the steel with Performance tweed inside. It's our newest fabric created from 100% post consumer plastic woven into un ultra-durable performance grade textile!

  • bonnie
    bonnie
    8/9/2010 12:50 PM

    Hi!

    Are the bags water proof? Living in the Pacific NW, that is VERY important. Also, is a stabilizing waist strap included?

  • Chris
    Chris
    8/9/2010 1:16 PM

    bonnie - Our bags, including these, are water resistant. If you want to custom create your own bag you can do so at our site, there we do have options to add a water "proof" liner and a "cross strap" that stabilizes at the waist. Click here to go to our site. Make sure to use the code 'dailygrommet' to receive Free Shipping on your bag on our site, too.

  • helen
    helen
    8/9/2010 1:39 PM

    Excellent Daily Grommet! I love Rickshaw Bagworks -- my very first bag was a TED backpack, and I own two Moleskine folios. A Zero bag is next on my list!

  • reverend billy Walters
    reverend billy Walters
    8/9/2010 1:53 PM

    you guys show the outside of the bag, but what does it look like on the inside? I am not paying $40-$200 for a bag that looks nice, but is not function. I don't care if its made in the USA. It could be made in the USA but, the companies owner is in China, Spain, etc... people need to get over the made in the USA crap. just because its made in the USA doesn't mean it better, cost less or saves USA jobs. Its all about how much it costs and its function.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/9/2010 2:22 PM

    Hi Reverend Billy,

    The inside of the bags includes two pockets under the flap in all sizes but the mini. In that case there is a single pocket across the front. Sorry…we cut that detail out of our video.



    Regarding the Made in USA aspect, I grew up in Detroit so that is not a remote issue for me. Losing skilled labor jobs in the USA is not something that happens "to other people" for many of us. But the biggest issue is our need to retain our competitive technical edge in the USA. That does have a great deal to do with retaining manufacturing competency. Innovation is far more likely to happen on the shop floor than on a computer screen. I do agree, though, that we have to look at the whole picture of a company structure, including ownership.

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 2:26 PM

    Hi there, Reverend. Mark Dwight here, owner of Rickshaw. I live right here in San Francisco (USA). Before I started my bag career, I spent 20 years in the tech industry in Silicon Valley. I'm a mechanical engineer by training, so functionality is very important to me. I design our bags (with lots of feedback from our customers), and I think you'll find an appropriate amount of function in each of our bag designs -- "price-performance" as the marketing folks say. The Zero is our simplest bag design, while our Commuter is a full-featured "computer" bag -- each with its own appropriate level of functionality. Regarding manufacturing origin, we make some components and sub-assemblies for some of our bags in China. Frankly, China is the best place in the world to make complicated "soft goods" these days. In addition to much lower wage rates, they also have the expertise, equipment, and supply ecosystem that is unmatched elsewhere. That said, working across cultures, languages, currencies and time-zones is a supreme hassle. And besides, I actually like making the things I sell. We make most of our bags from scratch, right here in SF -- good news for those customers that like to "shop local" or have a preference for "Made in USA" -- and even better news for our team of employees (yes, we have in fact created new jobs in SF, and hope to create many more) and our local vendors (screen printers, embroiderers, binding cutters, fabric suppliers, etc.). I'm also the founder of SFMade.org, an organization that promotes local manufacturing. There are indeed economic, environmental and community benefits to local manufacturing. If that's not one of your purchase criteria, that's fine with me -- simply ignore it. "Passion, Craft, Quality" is our motto, and we make the best bags we know how, regardless. Cheers! -Mark

  • barbara
    barbara
    11/14/2010 12:46 PM

    @Mark D: Hi Mark: I like the company philosophy, the bags, the style; would like to work with you guys. I'm currently in santa cruz and have a huge background in sales. thanks, Barbara

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 2:28 PM

    Amen, Jules!

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 2:45 PM

    Just thought I'd share a little story about my interest in sustainable manufacturing. In 2005 I attended a conference called "TED" (ted.com), where I saw a presentation by William McDonough, author of an important book called "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things". The presentation and the book rocked me to the core, and set me on my sustainability crusade. I started Rickshaw to pursue my ideas in this area (as well as my passion for bags). Our operational philosophy is expressed in the phrase, "The Power of Zero" -- striving to reduce negative environmental impact in every aspect of our business. If you're interested in the subject, I highly recommend your read Cradle to Cradle.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/9/2010 3:45 PM

    @Mark - I love your passion for what you are doing!

    Just wanted to give a quick update to everyone that the Rickshaw Bags website is slower than usual today but it will open if you have patience to wait for it!

  • Amy
    Amy
    8/9/2010 3:46 PM

    Is Rickshaw in SF open to the public? I'll be there in another week.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/9/2010 4:07 PM

    @Amy - yes they are! It sounds like a great place to visit!

  • Ann
    Ann
    8/9/2010 4:57 PM

    Hi, Rickshaw Bagworks! I really love your innovative ways of cutting down on waste and increasing functionality. I can't afford one of your bags (yet), but if I could, I'd probably buy three or four to give as "just-because" gifts. I wish everyone could think green. Thanks for your dedication to preserving the earth. Awesome!

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 5:02 PM

    Rickshaw Web Site Performance Update: We found the problem and corrected it (actually, our site was the target of a hacker this morning). Our site should load normally now. Thanks for your patience.

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 5:10 PM

    @Ann - Thanks for your kind words. If you're ever in SF, please drop by for a visit.

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 5:16 PM

    @Amy - Yes, our factory store is open weekdays and Saturday, 10-4. We love visitors!

  • Mark
    Mark – Special Guest
    8/9/2010 10:21 PM

    Greetings from San Francisco, the City by the Bay, where the sun is setting and the fog is rolling in (again!). Thanks to everyone who visited Daily Grommet and Rickshaw Bagworks today. And special thanks to Team Grommet for their in-depth research and the fantastic video work. Cheers! -Mark

  • Carolyn K
    Carolyn K
    9/10/2010 1:49 PM

    Love the Rickshaw Messenger Bag, just too bad that it can't be sewn with US Made Sewing Machine rather than the Juki Machines shown in the warehouse. I think Merrow is the only US manufacturer left. Good to see the use of US made fabrics.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/10/2010 3:12 PM

    @Carolyn - thank you for stopping by and contributing your insights as to what has value to you!

  • Sylvia C
    Sylvia C
    11/10/2010 10:51 AM

    Hi Mark, congratulation what a great idea of a bag. I traveled alot myself and always looking for the one travel bag and haven't quite found one yet. I am a designer myself and have lots of ideas of how I want the inside to be like, so if you would like some input as a woman with young kids and love to travel please feel free to email me.

    Good Luck!

    Sylvia

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/10/2010 11:07 AM

    @Sylvia C: Thanks for posting! Daily Grommet has featured another bag designed specifically for traveling that may be a better fit for your needs. It is called the Zen Class in-flight organizer and travel tote and has pockets galore and opens up completely for easy access to them.

  • Stephanie
    Stephanie
    11/13/2010 11:26 PM

    Since I live in the Bay Area, I would love to see your bags first hand. Address? Or do you only do online purchases?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/14/2010 12:06 PM

    @Stephanie: I have contacted you directly with further information. Thanks for stopping by Daily Grommet today!

  • Lee Fitzmaurice
    Lee Fitzmaurice
    11/18/2010 10:23 PM

    Everything about this bag sounds fantastic. I would never buy a bag without knowing what the inside can hold. I want info on pockets, any special features?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/18/2010 11:03 PM

    @Lee Fitzmaurice: These bags have two front pockets under the flap (in each size except the mini which has one front pocket).

    The dimensions of each are:

    Mini: 8.5“H x 7.5“W x 4“D

    Small: 10” H x 14” W x 6” D

    Medium: 11” H x 19” W x 6” D – fits up to a 13 inch laptop

    Large: 12.5” H x 22” W x 9” D – fits up to a 15 inch laptop

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    12/24/2010 2:43 AM

    I am going into my 2nd quarter of Nursing school.

    I am considering one of these for my book bag?

    Maybe a medium or a large. I need something sturdy,

    and tasteful. These look to fit my needs for tasteful!!

    Have they been tested for weight ie. how much weight

    can they hold? Are there zippered compartments inside?

    Would you ever consider showing the insides and pockets

    as part of your website?

    Thank you and happy holidays!!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/24/2010 9:08 AM

    @Barbara: I think it's a great choice. There are no interior pockets, just the two exterior pockets that are under the flaps on the larger sizes you are looking at. The construction and materials used are top grade, if you can carry it this bag can carry it!

  • Kimberly
    Kimberly
    1/28/2011 1:22 PM

    I really like this bag and would like to purchase it for my brother who has a small lap top. Could this fist a laptop or is it not the right shape for it?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/28/2011 2:48 PM

    @Kimberly: It would be great for a laptop! The Medium, (11" H x 19" W x 6" D) fits up to a 13 inch laptop and the Large (12.5" H x 22" W x 9" D) fits up to a 15 inch laptop.

The comment board is no longer open for this Grommet.