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 it was that day. So it was pretty natural that I wanted to be in nature all the time. And my family always camped during the summer so I got to experience 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 nature and 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 tried to grow things, even it is was herbs in a little window pot, it never occurred to me that that might be abnormal to others, for me it was second nature. An inherent respect to the environment that took such good care of me as a child.
When I started designing and creating 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, but then I started doing some research on materials, and I was horrified by what i found.
The more I researched, the worst I discovered, there was no traceability for fabrics, they were made from toxic chemicals, and made by people in horrible conditions. Did you know that if you buy Italian leather that the hide doesn't have to be from Italy? As long as a hide is dyed in that country it can be claimed "made in Italy" or any other country. Meaning the hide can be sourced and treated from anywhere and as long as the finished process of dying it is in Italy, they can say it's from Italy. And to see people 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 terrible. And that most of our synthetic fibers are made from toxic chemicals and petroleum, it was an eye opener and I realized I did not what my bags to be just another cheap toxic accessory, I knew I could do better.
It became by personal mission to do everything I could to make something better. A better functioning bag with better materials that was made better. I didn't want to just have anyone make my bags I wanted to have a manufacture that believed in better too. To pay workers a fair wage and believe that any product should be made to last, not just some quick cheap item mass produced over and over again. 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 because I know I can do better, I will work to do better.
I believe that like me researching in the beginning about fabrics, 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 and hide in their high rises will not make our world better. It needs to start with us and me using the tools and innovations to create and buy things that are just better. Better for us, the world, and each other.
So who is eba? Eba stands for Emmaly, Barbara, and Ashley. My family and myself, who stick together and do all we can to be better. My mother Barbara has taught me to respect the world and others and to never give up. My sister Ashley has show me as a big sister how to be better and do better, it's definitely a family business.
My mission is not just making a great product, it's following a personal mission that not only can I create a great bag, but that the bag can be the best possible bag on the market in sustainability, integrity, and ethically. A bag and a brand that can do better for all.