With a marketing and venture capital background, the Marcoschamer brothers had always wanted to develop a brand to which they could also apply meaning, soul and longevity. The goal was “more than just profit, it was about leaving a mark”, says Ecoist Cofounder Jonathan Marcoschamer.
Jonathan spoke to me about a 2004 family trip during which he visited his country of origin- Mexico. There, he saw crafts made by artisans from a non profit organization called The Group to Promote Education and Sustainable Development (GRUPEDSAC). This organization helps underprivileged citizens in rural Mexico gain skills to become self sufficient. They’re taught sustainable farming and agricultural methods, techniques for harvesting rainwater, and crafts. Among the crafts, the Marcoschamers discovered interesting bags made of recycled candy wrappers which they bought back with them to Miami, where they currently reside.
“It was a rough design version, but we saw a great story, concept and opportunity for improving the quality, fashion and styling of these products and taking them to the next level,” explained Jonathan. A partnership was created, which continues today. After improving their styles and colors, the Marcoschamers began selling the bags in Miami, and following an initial positive response, took them to trade shows.
Currently working with companies like Coca-Cola, Aveda and Clif Bar, Ecoist incorporates a variety of recycled materials including misprints and discontinued lines from food packages and soda labels. Ecoist has now distinguished 3 different collections within the line. Luxe, Flavors, and the original Classics. Practically waterproof, the Ecoist collection of bags offers a huge range of colors and styles.