My friends and I here at college all have one of these BAGGU duck bags. Being large, durable, and trendy, my friends and I are always sporting our BAGGU’s, which is why I wanted to look in to the sustainability practices that go into making our favorite bag. BAGGU has collaborated with many larger corporations, such as J. Crew, West Elm and Urban Outfitters, which have been criticized for their sustainability and labor practices. I wonder if BAGGU is aware of this and if they truly did care about their impact, why they would work with brands who seem to be contradicting their values and practices. BAGGU does seem to focus on recycling and waste production, but there is no mention of carbon emissions and climate change. Overall, I think BAGGU has a very good start to being an ethical and sustainable brand, but there is still a lot of work to do. BAGGU seems to have the right ideas and values about wanting to be a green company, but I am not sure to what extent these values are upheld. I think BAGGU needs to focus a bit more on transparency and being more open about where their materials are coming from and how they are produced. This would allow consumers to be more aware and informed.
The BAGGU Duck Bag is made from recycled canvas. This is slightly misleading as the canvas material is 65% recycled cotton, with the rest being a mix of new cotton and small amounts of other materials. There is not much detail about where any of their materials are from except for that the recycled cotton is from a supply chain partner mill in China. According to their website, the reason they do not fully use recycled material is to make their bags more affordable and durable. This is quite understandable, but I think BAGGU needs to specify where their other materials are being sourced from. The Duck Bag works very well for me as a consumer as it was affordable and is very durable for anything I might need it for, so I am understanding that these are standards BAGGU wanted to upkeep during production.
The process of how the bags are made was quite vague from BAGGU’s website. The products are made in manufacturing facilities in China by hand, but there is not much else about how exactly the bags are produced. They claim that no chemicals or liquids are used during the bag making process. BAGGU uses recycled material creating discarded fibers that are used to make new bags. BAGGU does ship their products in biodegradable mailers made from FSC-certified 100% recycled paper stock. When I received by BAGGU in the mail, I was excited to see some more sustainable packaging that I confidently could recycle. I do assume that the product has to be shipped from the facilities in China to their company locations in America, and this is an environmental impact that is not addressed or acknowledged by BAGGU. BAGGU also has a no incineration policy as well as a recycling program in order for textiles to be reused. BAGGU offers a discount code if you mail in or drop of your old bag for recycling. BAGGU seems to audit some suppliers, but it tends to be at the end of the production process, there is not much on where their materials are sourced from and we can only take their word for that they are ensuring humane and safe working conditions as they do not specify details about their manufacturing facilities. They only mention that the cotton is from a mill in China, but to not detail if they know the working conditions and environmental practices of this facility.
BAGGU’s products are made in manufacturing facilities in China, which their website says certified and audited each year to ensure safe and humane conduct. Their production team also visits the manufacturing facilities. BAGGU claims that they and their manufacturers abide by a code of conduct. This code of conduct has sections on compensation, working hours, health and safety, environment, forced and bonded labor, freedom of association, nondiscrimination, harassment, product safety and quality, and continuous improvement. The code of conduct seems to have a lot of standards and I am still skeptical on how all of these standards are upheld. Their website did not specify which facilities or where in China the facilities are, leaving me unsure where to research more.