by Wendy Gabriel
Adriana Herrera and Nichole MacDonald are the co-founders of Her Niche Products. Nichole’s background is in product development and graphic design while Adriana’s experience is in public relations and marketing. Realized their cohesive visions, philosophies, and goals the two entrepreneurs partnered together to work under one umbrella, Her Niche Products.
How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?
Our Bagonia handbags help us to live greener without extra effort. We use the hidden reusable bags when we’re grocery shopping, grabbing takeout, shopping at the mall, to pack a beach picnic or carry gym clothes. We are also very conscious to buy items with less packaging, to reuse anything that can serve another purpose and to recycle.
Your stated mission is to combine innovative function and cutting edge style to create eco-friendly products that help women and men live environmentally friendly lives while enhancing style. How do you accomplish this mission?
The fashion industry is known for creating trends that are “flash and trash.” Rather than creating seasonal, short-lived pieces our labels are designed to have function and aesthetics that have longevity (i.e. Green Fashion with Green Function). We look at everyday problems people encounter, like forgetting reusable shopping bags at home or in the car, and then creatively design solutions that will help solve that problem and empower people to live lighter.
You recently launched your new eARTH line, an amazing array of fabulous bags, how does the manufacturing and materials used for these bags support your company’s quest for socially responsible manufacturing and design?
The fashion industry is one of the most pollutant and wasteful industries. We work to source and reclaim materials and textiles that can be incorporated into making our products before purchasing new organic and eco-friendly fabrics and hardware. Once we’ve sourced all the materials that go into our products we have them manufactured domestically in Los Angeles where we pay US dollars for ethical labor and quality handmade products.
What have you found to be your biggest challenge as you work to design, manufacture and market environmentally friendly products?
As a startup company our largest challenge has been cost and consumer education. To us part of being eco-friendly and socially responsible means manufacturing domestically, using man made materials that replicate the look and feel of leathers and suede, using organic fabrics and vegetable dyes (all of which cost more than traditional materials). As a result our price points reflect the cost of our eco-friendly materials and domestic manufacturing. We’ve actually been told we need to raise our price points because they are too low for our costs but we would rather make our products available to more people then minimize the positive effect they were designed to have on the world. So as we introduce our labels to consumers we have to provide education on manufacturing differences (i.e. process, costs, price points, and quality) between the US and other countries like China.
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