Rickshaw Bagworks Launches as Bag Sponsor at TED2008 Conference in Monterey

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Making its debut at TED2008, Rickshaw Bagworks (http://www.rickshawbags.com) is a brand new San Francisco-based company specializing in the design and manufacture of urban lifestyle bags and accessories. Just for this event, Rickshaw has crafted 1600 bags in 800 unique color combinations featuring fabric made out of 100% post-consumer plastic beverage bottles.

Rickshaw Bagworks, Inc., a new San Francisco-based lifestyle bag company, announced today it will debut its first product - a laptop computer messenger bag - at the renowned TED Conference in Monterey, CA, which starts February 27. The new bag features designer fabric made from 100-percent recycled plastic beverage bottles. In addition to the eco-friendly fabric, Rickshaw has created two-each of 800 unique color combinations for the 1,600 TED participants. The bags will be distributed randomly among the attendees, with the suggestion that people try to find their bag-toting twin during the four-day conference. "Conference bags are usually all the same - a one-style-for-all bag-with-logo", explained Rickshaw CEO, Mark Dwight. "We wanted to create something special for TED, where the expectations for 'new and unusual' run high. This project is a tour de force in mass customization, and, to my knowledge, this is the first time participants at a conference of this size will each receive a unique bag," said Dwight. The company selected TED, an annual gathering of luminaries in the fields of technology, entertainment and design, as the launch venue to showcase its innovations in sustainable design and mass customization. "Our goal was to create not just a product, but an 'experience' - a conversation ice-breaker for participants who have never met, and inspiration for further discussion of sustainable design," said Dwight. "We had the opportunity to do something completely new, and TED is the perfect place to do it."

"Rickshaw Bagworks has set a new standard for a sophisticated conference bag. TED is delighted to have 800 unique designs made from post-consumer materials, demonstrating that sustainable design can be luxurious, innovative, beautiful, functional and fun," said Tom Rielly, TED Partnership Director. "We're grateful for the creativity and effort the Rickshaw team invested in this exciting project."

Dwight himself has attended the TED conference for several years, and was inspired by a 2005 presentation by the renowned "green" architect, William McDonough, author of the sustainable design manifesto, "Cradle To Cradle". "Bill McDonough's cradle to cradle presentation was a wake-up call for me", says Dwight. "He called on all product designers and manufacturers to rethink how we make things - to strive for true sustainability in the complete lifecycle of a product". Since then, the Cradle To Cradle (C2C) design philosophy has developed into a certification process for sustainable products and manufacturing processes. Many companies today are looking at ways to integrate these practices into their business models.

Dwight is a veteran of the bag business, with previous stints at Kensington and Timbuk2. Dwight joined San Francisco-based Timbuk2 as investor-CEO in 2002, orchestrated a turn-around of the company, and sold it to private equity investors in 2005 - an event that delivered a cash windfall of more than $1 million for the company's 40 factory employees. After a one-year sabbatical, Dwight teamed-up with Timbuk2 founder, Rob Honeycutt, in June of 2007 and launched Rickshaw Bagworks. "We're both passionate about the business of bags - design, manufacturing and marketing - and sustainable business practices - and this was an opportunity to start fresh, on our own, with our accumulated knowledge and experience", explained Dwight. Dwight and his team have set-up shop in an old warehouse in the historic Dogpatch District of San Francisco, where they will begin manufacturing bags in a few months.

About Rickshaw Bagworks
Rickshaw Bagworks, Inc. is a new San Francisco-based company specializing in the design and manufacturing of messenger bags and computer carrying cases. The word "rickshaw" comes from the Japanese characters "jin-riki-sha", meaning "human-powered-vehicle", and refers to the hand-drawn and pedal-powered vehicles used throughout Asia. Rickshaw products will be available at select bicycle, outdoor, personal technology and lifestyle specialty retailers in early 2008. For more information about Rickshaw Bagworks, visit http://www.rickshawbags.com.


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Macy Allatt
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