Our heart for development work
Vincent (CEO at R-Go Tools) and Anita Bons (Ergonomic advisor for R-Go Tools) have been involved in development projects in the past in Brazil. At the age of 16, Anita helped to build a shelter for street children through the World Servants foundation. And in 2007 Vincent helped to renovate a semi-boarding school for the "Care for Brazil" foundation. With the start of R-Go Tools there was a desire to combine development work with the existing knowledge of ergonomics.
The R-Go Tools vision put into practice
Because R-Go Tools is constantly working on new developments, Vincent and Anita flew to Brazil at the end of 2015. The purpose of this trip was to visit various projects and workshops to see how the R-Go Tools vision can be put into practice. It was important to inventory the present skills, raw materials and development projects in order to develop and produce a new ergonomic product together. This is how we ended up (in a special way) at the Agua Viva foundation.
About Agua Viva Foundation
People can get into trouble for various reasons and can get stuck. This can be due to drug abuse, debt, illness, divorce or psychological problems, for example. Agua Viva is a Christian organisation whose mission is to work for these Brazilians under the motto "Let people become Human again".
Designing the laptop bag
Brazil is one of the largest leather producers in the world and so the idea arose to produce an ergonomic laptop bag made of leather in association with Agua Viva. Not entirely new territory for Agua Viva, because they already run their own furniture workshop. By making and selling wooden furniture, the foundation has gained experience in combining commercial activities with supporting people to return to society. Then, under the direction of Daniel van Meeuwen, (one of the founders of R-Go Tools) we designed an ergonomic laptop bag with an integrated laptop stand. The next step was to approach bag designers in The Netherlands to develop the concept into a working prototype. An important precondition being that it would be possible for the team in Brazil to make.
Because we want to use healthy/sustainable materials in developing our healthy, ergonomic tools, we went in search of "healthy leather" for the laptop bag. However, this wasn’t as straight forward as we have hoped. Eventually we found a leather producer who tans the leather in an environmentally friendly way and is certified with "Gold" by the Leather Working Group (LWG). This is the highest standard for leather tanning. We’ve opted for full grain leather, which gives it a natural appearance. With this type of leather, the entire skin is not separated into an upper "top grain" and "split" layer. The surface of the leather is not sanded or polished to remove imperfections or natural marks from the skin.
Are you in?
By buying our R-Go Viva Laptop Bag you will be helping people in need get the prospect of a new life again. By being offered employment, they are given perspective and a source of income. In addition, approximately 20 % of the production costs of the laptop bag is donated to the Agua Viva foundation. This way the foundation can give even more people a new chance!