We are running a new series here on the blog called “Made in SF.” It is going to focus on the amazing products that are made right here in SF. First up, Rickshaw Bagworks.
Rickshaw Bagworks was founded in 2007. The company set up shop in the Dogpatch neighborhood and has been there ever since. This is where Rickshaw does it all – from design, to manufacturing, to retail sales. While it started with and retains a focus on the urban cycling community, the users of Rickshaw’s bags are by no means limited to bike messengers. The bag styles range from messenger bags, to totes, to backpacks, to accessories. Each one is customizable.
Images of individual bags courtesy of Rickshawbags.com
We took a trip over last week and they were nice enough to give us a tour of the facility.
From the beginning Rickshaw has been focused on creating an amazing product with as little manufacturing waste as possible. This started with their “Zero” bag which, as the name insinuates, creates zero manufacturing waste during production. Even though Rickshaw cannot say the same about every bag they produce, each bag is hand-cut and requires only one to two cuts of fabric in an effort to keep waste as low as possible. They have a U-Line production that allows them to produce between 100-400 bags each day.
We think the thing that sets Rickshaw apart from its competitors is the clean lines and simple aesthetic. Rickshaw is constantly working on new designs and most recently conducted a Kickstarter campaign to fund a reflective tweed that is made with reflective thread. By day it looks like your standard tweed but after dark, it lights up – perfect for those of us commuting home after the sun has gone down.
Image courtesy of Rickshawbags.com
Rickshaw also uses a dye sublimation printing process that allows them to make custom logo bags for corporate customers or special events. The results are amazing. The process allows for fully-saturated color and a rainbow of choices. Here is an example of a bag that they collaborated with Three Fish Studios to produce for the recent Bold Italic event.