What Daisy Did: Ethically Made Satchels and Fashion Accessories

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Psst.  Have you heard What Daisy Did?  Well, Daisy designed some groovy satchels.  Daisy sourced materials that are recycled and sustainable to make those satchels, and found partners in India to produce her designs in ethical conditions.  That's What Daisy Did (alongside Ozric) and here is an insight into the UK business.

Old school satchels; they just don't date do they?  Satchels are somewhat nostalgic because their style has remained mostly unchanged over the decades.  That said, those nerdy looking leather bags are no longer reserved for teachers wearing tweed jackets with elbow patches; everyday folk use satchels to style into their look.  What Daisy Did satchels and bags make old-school cool, and in a sustainable way, too.

What Daisy Did's Carnival Collection satchels and bags are made from recycled and factory offcut leather, that may have otherwise gone to waste.  Take a look and see:
Blue Jay Bakpack
The Forest Collection bags are handmade with small scaled farmed goat leather, naturally tanned under the desert sun, without using any chemicals:

Hornbeam Holdall
Want to know more?  The lovely folk behind What Daisy Did, share their business story and ethics with Recycled Fashion readers.  

Q. Can you tell us a little about What Daisy Did and why you started it? 

What Daisy Did is co-founded and run by Daisy and Ozric, we are partners with a passion for sustainable, slow living and travel.

Daisy and Ozric - What Daisy Did

It was founded after 5 years of working in sustainability which opened our eyes to the reality of humanities disposable lifestyle and led us to create a fashion brand whose products were beautiful, functional, affordable and tackled waste from every angle. The ways we achieve this are by using natural and waste materials to create our bags in timeless styles that will outlive the micro trends and seasons of fast fashion. The bags are hard wearing and made to last, keeping them out of landfill for as long as possible. We want to inspire others to think about the way they live and the clothes they wear.

How long has What Daisy Did been trading?

We have been trading for 3 years now.

What is your background prior to What Daisy Did?

Both of us have backgrounds in art and fashion from school and college. For several years before setting up What Daisy Did we worked for events across the country helping with their sustainability projects. Our original idea was to create products from festival waste such as tents, an idea that we are now revisiting in collaboration with a well known Festival.
My Bonnie Bag
Tell us about the name 'What Daisy Did' and what it means?

It all started as a blog that Daisy wrote as we travelled, gradually evolving into a blog about the business and the business name itself.

Who designs What Daisy Did bags?

Preliminary designs are done by Daisy and Ozric, these are then submitted to the master tailors, Chotu for the Carnival Collection and Babu and Raju for the Forest Collection to look over. They go through them with us and Pinu who manages the production and advise us on any changes that will improve the production of the bags. The master tailors then make prototypes and stencils that are submitted to us to clear for production.

Ozric and Pinu working through What Daisy Did designs
How did you find and connect with your partners in India?

Having finished work at the Festivals we travelled India for 3 months and met Pinu along the way. Pinu was already creating beautiful products at this time and had a passion for utilising waste. We asked him if he could make our designs, and the partnership was born.

Sadie Satchel
 Do you only sell online, or do you stock in stores / sell in markets?

We currently sell across 5 online stores including our own website and our bags can be found in over 65 independent retail outlets worldwide.

You are based in the UK, do you also distribute your stock to other countries?

We distribute worldwide, with our bags being stocked from Alaska to Australia. We are looking to set up a second distribution hub in the USA next as our bags are very popular there, but postage from the UK can be very expensive.

Is your business 'making a difference', if so, how?

The materials that we use to make the bags are bi-products, the Carnival Collection of the leather bag and shoe factory industry and the Forest Collection of small scale community meat farming. Thus saving the raw materials from being wasted. The bags are made by tailors who live in small communities, many of whom are ex shoe makers that lost their jobs in the trade shift to China. All tailors are paid a fair commission with living wage realistically achievable within normal working hours meaning they will never find themselves in poverty, they work from home and have complete working flexibility.

Daisy and some of the women who help to make What Daisy Did bags
Flexible work is great for them as it means they can work around other commitments such as university or parenting. The bags are designed to last the test of time and fashion meaning that unlike fast fashion bags they won't get sent to landfill after a few wears. Any bags that do unfortunately don't pass our strict quality checks enough to sell get broken down back to leather to be sent to jewellery makers. We are registered with the British Association of Fairtrade Shops and Supplies and we are also partnered with The Woodland Trust to offset our carbon footprint.

Willow Mini Satchel

Now you know What Daisy (really) Did, and why Daisy is pretty fantastic, don't you think?

You may find What Daisy Did bags in a store near you, if not, head to www.whatdaisydid.com and stock up on ethical fashion goodies for yourself and your loved ones


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