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Shop Local and Sustainable

Holiday shopping season is here. What kinds of decisions will you be making as you decide where and from whom to purchase your gifts? What do I mean? Let me give you an example. Rickshaw Bagworks is a company in San Francisco that creates made-to-order messenger bags in their USA factory. They design bags for people who thrive on the urban experience and celebrate the creative spirit. They create high-quality products but yet they still share a strong set of humanistic, environmental and social values that guide the way they conduct every aspect of their business. I really like that. 
"Entrepreneurial companies no longer have to operate as mere subcontractors in the shadow of master brands. There's never been a better time to develop your own brand name and put it on everything you make. Build a reputation for quality products and friendly service. If you do, you will command premium pricing, rather than the commodity pricing of an anonymous supplier." - Mark Dwight, CEO, Rickshaw Bagworks
Learn more about Rickshaw Bagworks and Mark Dwight by watching the video below.

If I ever make it to San Francisco, I want to walk into Rickshaw Bagworks and say hello! Yes, they leave their doors open and let the public come in and see how they work! Don't you wonder sometimes about companies with closed doors and tight security? I mean, what are they trying to hide? So when you buy local, you know the company that you are buying from and you know where these products are manufactured. You will be less likely to wonder if the gifts you are buying are safe, or if the shipping is hurting the environment.

Speaking of sustainability, I really respect companies that think about the materials that they use in their products. Did you know that The Commuter 2.1 Laptop Briefcase is !00% PVC-free? This ultimate computer bag holds your whole life while commuting on bike, foot, train or scooter. I love the stand-up design. Don't you just hate bags that fall over? All Rickshaw bags are customizable too! Cool! Learn more about it in the video below.

You should also check out the Zero Messenger Bag. It is named for the amount of waste generated during the production of each bag. It's also made from 100 percent nylon, so when the day comes, it's entirely recyclable.

There are a few restaurants in my city that are truly farm to table. Their food always tastes so fresh and healthy. It makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger when I dine there. Shopping at the nearby farmer's market also reminds me how great it feels to use local produce. Use this same mentality when it comes to buying any product, not just food.
"A lot of businesses have realized that sustainable practices can help save money and strengthen brands. In fact, there has been an explosion of marketing hype for so-called green products and eco-friendly business practices. As business owners, we should set aside the promotional gimmickry and focus on making sustainability a core value." - Mark Dwight, CEO, Rickshaw Bagworks

What kinds of decisions about buying local and sustainable products will you be making during your holiday shopping? I think it is time that we all start shopping smarter, and companies like Rickshaw Bagworks make it an easy decision.