You probably already own plenty of bags made in China. You don't know much about how they were made or the people who made them. You liked the way they looked and all your stuff fit in there, and when it broke or tore apart, you figured people just don't make things like they used to.
That's what Ivy & Fig was when we bought it in 2019. It was the same as everyone else. Nothing special.
So we went looking for a way to do things differently. Leave behind Chinese manufacturing and find a place where there is a great history of quality leather goods. Find a place that most Americans overlook as a manufacturing source and see if there is a factory out there that can really blow us away. Not just with their talent, but with their heart and their conviction.
Colombia as a history of making great products out of leather. The majority of Colombian made goods are getting sold to European countries and they are great products, but companies in America rarely consider Colombia as a great place to manufacture high quality products, despite the skill of the craftsmen there.
When we met John and his factory in Bogota, we knew we had found someone who thought differently. He didn't puff up his chest and act like a man who built an empire. He was proud of what he'd done, but he wanted us to be a part of what he was doing. His factory looked different than others. His workers stood out. There was something going on there that drew you in from the moment you walked in.
Because of the history of cattle farming in Colombia, there are many factories that work with leather. When you walk down the street in Bogota, everyone has leather bags and leather jackets. It's a resource that has always been readily available there and so there are very talented people who have spent their lives learning to work with leather. When we told John what we wanted to build using vegan materials, he understood it immediately.
The NEW Ivy & Fig was going to use the craftsmen who knew everything about leather and convert their skills over to build the best vegan leather products.
By sourcing from smaller, family-owned factories, we knew that we could control the quality of the NEW Ivy & Fig products in a way that no one sourcing products traditionally, especially in China, ever could.
When we found Bogota, we didn't just find a great place to make a great product, we found a city and a community that we loved. We knew right away that the heart of Ivy & Fig was changing. Ivy & Fig was going to be dedicated to those people and that community.
For once, you're going to own a bag that you know something about. You know where it came from. You know what kind of people made it. You know what it's really made of. And most of all, you can be proud to show it off and tell people about the little company you found that's trying to make a difference in a community one bag at a time.