Journal | Bangladesh

Your Market Bag Impact

oporajeo | FEATURE


We’ve created a short film documenting the story behind why we do what we do, and we’re excited to share the first glimpse here.

Thank you always for supporting our mission of using business to improve peoples lives.
Day 1 | Dhaka

The Voice of 4.2M Garment Workers

First stop was with Amirul Hague Amin. He’s the President of the National Garment Worker’s Federation and creates policy for 4.2M garment workers in Bangladesh

Love this quote from Amirul: “The business model behind the Apolis Market Bag is a symbol of Bangladesh’s future”
Day 2  | Narayangonj


There are a lot of things to be thankful for on this trip. But one highlight is our second cooperative for the Market Bag in Bangladesh.

In 2018, we came in contact with Oporajeo, an employee-owned factory — founded after the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013 — a devastating incident in which a garment factory collapsed, killing 1,134 workers and injuring thousands more. The word “Oporajeo” in Bengali translates to “Invincible” or “Undefeated.”

By partnering with Oporajeo we have been able to keep up with the demand for the market bag, while continuing to support our existing partnership with the Saidpur co-op, enabling them to grow in scale at a healthy pace.
DAY 3 | Narayangonj

Opportunity > Charity

Today we spent most of our time with the Chief Executive Worker of Oporjaeo, Kazi Monir Hossian. I love this quote from today:

“Some non-profits are just poverty businesses. Bureaucratic systems with no economic engine. Simply using business for good is the best answer to help break a poverty cycle. Just give us ownership over our craft to determine our own future — that’s all we want. We want opportunity with secure work and demand, not charity.”
Day 4-5 |  SAIDPUR

Meet Fatema

Touring the first cooperative we partnered with in Saidpur and meeting with over 100 mothers that handcraft the market bag, the number one thing every mother told me today was:

"Give us bigger orders”

They weren't asking for donations; they just wanted to work. It was really beautiful to see their sense of ownership and desire for opportunity.
DAY 6 | JUTE Farm


The Apolis market bags are made of 100% golden jute fiber, which comes from the stem and outer skin of the plant. The fibers are extracted by bundling jute stems together and immersing them in running water.

The raw fibers are then transported to the wonderful moms who craft them into the bags you know and love. One of the best things about jute fiber is that it is strong and durable, yet is sustainably harvested in a way which doesn't negatively impact the local economy or environment.
Day 7 | dhaka


Today we learned more about the process of processing the jute fiber the market bag is made of. For centuries, Bangladesh has been one of the world's top producers of the environmentally friendly jute plant, which plays a prominent part in everyday life here.

As my team and I traveled 90 minutes from the market bag factory to the jute mill, we crossed over ten bridges which all had jute hanging off the sides to dry.

Jute is everywhere in Bangladesh—even on the money (many taka coins feature jute leaves on them)
DAY 8 | bangladesh


This is one of hundreds of stories of how this bag is helping break a poverty cycle.

We're so thankful to be a part of this story—and anyone who's purchased an Apolis market bag is a part of this story too.