In 1998, two Philadelphia messengers - Roland and Ellie; the "R" and "E" in the name - decided that the existing crop of messenger bags just wasn't good enough. What initially began as an attempt to simply make some additions to Roland's pre-made bag turned into a full-scale project, with both Ellie and Roland making bags for themselves from scratch. Thanks to the ever-present support of the Philadelphia messenger community, as well as love from messengers across the globe, this tiny project slowly turned into a full-time business.
Along the way, we also began to incorporate the art of applique stitching into our bags. This, along with the widest pallete of colors available in the industry, allows our customers the ultimate freedom of expression in any custom bag they order. We feel that this is a quality almost important as durability and functionality of the bags, and we strive for top marks in all three. Having set the precedent for custom graphics on messenger bags, these days most other companies also offer some form of graphics. However, nobody has more experience than we do.
After fourteen years of making bags, we still have the same approach as when we first started. Everything is made right here in our Philadelphia studio, from scratch, start to finish. We cut and stitch everything up ourselves, using the highest quality materials we can find. Our goal is, and has always been, to offer the finest, most customizable bags you will ever sling over your shoulders.
We firmly believe that our end users should have the opportunity to be a part of the production process along with us...something that is sorely lacking in most business approaches these days. It's why we do thing the way we do, and why we will always remain a small collective of artisans, making a relatively small amount of bags, right here in the United States.
At R.E.Load, our bottom line consists of Quality of Life. We believe that we can achieve a better world with happier people by incorporating Art and Sustainability into everyday life. Our contribution to this end is sustainable and functional art in the form of hand made custom messenger bags specifically designed for the cycling community.
We will always question the system and seek alternative ways of commerce. Where capitalism pushes the mindless impulse to buy unnecessary and disposable goods, we want people to think before they buy. We encourage R.E.Load customers to interact differently with their consuming process by inviting them to take part in the creative process. In so doing, together we create a more personal and therefore less disposable product.
We challenge society's relationship to work and the workplace. We strive to put the humanity back into the workplace by redefining work as a personal project. We want R.E.Load to be a skill-building vehicle so that employees may forge their own career and artistic paths. We encourage everyone to work in the direction of their passion/s and to be self-sufficient in their art forms.
We connect the product with the people making it. When you buy a R.E.Load Bag, you are buying the time, energy, and creative force of our artisans.
A strong environmental ethic informs all of our choices. We re-use and recycle materials whenever possible, and we are always looking into more sustainable alternatives for our business.
R.E.Load Bags are made in the USA and always have been. We will never manufacture overseas, and we will continue to source more sustainable, domestic raw materials as much as possible.
We work as a whole in decision-making processes. An "open book" policy provides for maximum transparency, allowing employees easy access to decisions. At all levels of activity we encourage open communication, a collaborative atmosphere, and maximum simplicity in our quest for dynamism & innovation.