09 June 2011

Calico Dragon bags: Spreading the message of human and animal rights

We go through life hearing many labels, some labels we have carried with pride that played a big role defining who we are or have become, while others tend to carry a stigma with it. For example the words “Made in China” instantly creates images of laborers working for pennies or children working in sweat shops.

Calico Dragon is a company that is slowly changing the perception of “Made in China” by giving women who escape their abusive husbands the opportunity to support themselves and their children with the money they earn from the line they helped produce. The company has also immerged not only as a supporter of human rights but animal rights as well.

Calico Dragon bags are made in small quantities which are rarely more than 300 per design. The cotton the company uses might be just regular scraps of whatever is available to them, but for the woman who collect them each piece symbolizes a chance at a better life. Scraps are then taken to a small shop where designs are screen printed then taken to another shop to be sewn by hand and packaged.

What makes Calico Dragon bags special besides the fact that no two bags are alike is that they are using the power of words to raise awareness about various animal rights issues that aren’t always easy to talk about. The messages on the bags are just as well thought-out as they are touching. Best of all the proceeds from the sales are donated to various animal rights charities.

One of my favorite bags is one of the older designs with the message printed on it:
“They may be a world away, but they need a world of support to survive”

Recently the company came out with some new designs addressing companion animal issues and abandonment that occurred as a result of the recession and large number of natural disasters.

“I love the look on a woman's face when she reads the message on my "Mine Lost Hers" design, with the baby fox, while she is wearing a fur coat - priceless," says founder Candy Brown. "Odds are she thinks about it later too!”

Jodi Truglio | email
Jodi is a strict vegan and animal rights advocate that grew up in up-state New York. She holds a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. In her spare time Jodi enjoys doing yoga and pilates.

Photo credit: Calico Dragon