In 2000, Yoko walked by a Japanese studio where two elderly men were sewing canvas bags with remarkable care. She was working at an IT company at the time, but she couldn't stop thinking about what she'd seen: experienced craftsmen, doing work they enjoyed, with beautiful results. She went back to talk with them and placed her first order for 50 totes. The next year, she launched 8tote.com, with the goal of supporting individual craftspeople and bringing sustainably made bags to the public. Today, 8tote.com partners with craftspeople across Japan.
Fast fashion has not been good for craft. Big companies, demanding ever-cheaper, wastefully produced goods, have driven down wages for even the most highly-skilled workers. Many would-be craftsmen have sought other employment, and heritage sewing techniques are being lost.
8tote.com is working to change that. We recognize the considerable talents of craftspeople and pay them fairly. They take pride in their work, sewing each bag with exacting attention to detail. And because they make only the high-quality totes our customers know are worth waiting for, there's no waste. Together, we're proving that good design involves respect for the planet and for one another.