WHO IS E.B.A? E.B.A IS MORE THAN A NAME, IT IS A MISSION As a child I have always loved nature. It was the greatest place for me to imagine wonderful and impossible things. The first impossible thing I would pretend is that I was an animal. I was so convinced I wanted to be an animal that I tried to convince my mom to let me eat dinner in a bowl on the ground. And the animal I wanted to be always changed, but usually it was some kind of big cat. The neighborhood kids use to ask me everyday what animal I was and I would enthusiastically tell them what animal I was that day. So it was pretty natural that I wanted to be in nature all the time. During my childhood my family always camped during the summer so I got to explore some amazing forests, lakes, and rivers. During our camping trips I would find a tree to try and climb, sometimes it would take me a whole day to figure out how to climb it, but when I finally did, you couldn't get me out of it. So naturally the environment has been my favorite place since I was a kid. As a grew up I always did my best to be sustainable, but it was just second nature to me, that's how I was raised. You recycled everything you could, you didn't liter, you grew vegetables, even it is was herbs in a little window pot, it never occurred to me that that might be abnormal to others. I had an inherent respect to the environment that took such good care of me as a child. When I started designing EBA totes I initially focused on price and functionality. That was really why I designed the bag in the first place, because I wanted a bag that was more functional then what I could find on the market. Then I started doing some research on materials, and I was horrified by what I found. The more I read, the worst I discovered, there was no traceability for fabrics, most were made from toxic chemicals, and made by people in horrible working conditions. To see images of workers in India with bleached arms and legs from the process of using the chrome tanning process and the toxic runoff from leather and fabric factories was shocking. It was an eye opener and I realized I did not want my bags to be just another cheap toxic accessory, I knew I could do better. It became by personal mission to make EBA totes sustainably and ethically. A functional bag made with sustainable materials and ethically in the USA. I wanted to pay workers a fair wage and create a product that's made to last, not just some quick cheap item that would fall apart in a year. And it was a lot to take on, i'm the first to say that I am still not as sustainable as a business as I want to be, but everything is a work in progress. I believe that people are waking up to the truth that cheap and mass produced doesn't solve our problems. That large corporations that aren't transparent that hide in their high rises will not make our world better. It needs to start with me using the tools and modern innovations to create things that are just better. Better for us, the world, and each other. So what does EBA stand for? EBA stands for Emmaly, Barbara, and Ashley. Myself, my mother, and my sister the crazy women of the Knecht family. My mother Barbara has taught me to respect the world and others and to never give up. My sister Ashley has shown me how to stay strong through hard times and how to create the perfect "themed" party costume. My mission is simple. Create a fabulous functional bag using sustainable and ethical principals. So far so good. FUNCTIONALITY IS KEY The lack of functionality and versatility in tote bags was an issue I wanted to solve when designing EBA totes,. In my personal life I experienced owning tote bags that were stylish but not functional or functional, but not stylish. I would find myself digging endlessly for misplaced items and found it frustrating when I needed two bags to keep my personal items separate from my work, gym or travel items. And I hated that I could not store any water bottles for fear of spills. THESE DESIGN ISSUES WERE RESOLVED BY TWO ELEMENTS: A WATERPROOF LINING AND SEPARATE COMPARTMENTS All totes feature two large compartments designed to store all the necessities. The first compartment features two pockets. One 11" pocket with a magnetic snap and a 9" zipper pocket. Perfect for keeping your belongings organized. The second compartment is designed to store larger items like books, a lab top or gym clothes. It only features an elastic bottle holder. All totes are lined with a recycled waterproof material to prevent damaging your tote from any spills. SUSTAINABILITY IS MY MISSION We only have one planet and sustainability has always been a key focus in my life. I made sure to choose fabrics that were sustainable, made or sourced, and vegan. The faux PU leather is made by Ultrafabrics, a company that highlights sustainable standards both in manufacturing and materials. They are Greenguard Certified and recycle 99% of their waste during manufacturing. Unlike most PVC and some PU faux leathers this does not have a hard plastic faux feel. This vegan leather is soft and buttery that feels comfortable on your body but durable enough to resist mildew, water, stains, and wear and tear. The waterproof lining is made from a recycled plastic, creating less energy to manufacture, and it utilizes recycled material that would otherwise be discarded to a landfill. My weaved bags are a combination of 100% linen and blends. Linen is a more sustainable fabric that uses less chemicals and energy to produce. And I am excited to use more weaved materials that are recycled and organic, making future lines feature only sustainable materials. I have always highlighted that I can do better. The goal is to make each new production of EBA totes more sustainable and zero waste, while highlighting new exciting materials that are innovated, sustainable, and vegan. MANUFACTURED IN THE USA In order to keep the tote bags as hand crafted and high quality as possible, staying in the USA for manufacturing was a must. I have hired two amazing seamstresses made each bag for EBA. Elizabeth is in Michigan and will sew all the totes, and Megan is a Santa Barbara local who will sew all the makeup and travel bags. I plan on continuing to keep the production of eba totes small to make sure the quality never falters, and to give customers confidence they are buy a bag that makes sustainability, quality, and ethicality a top priority.
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