23 December 2002
Finally, a company whose business practices don't make me immediately cringe. I recently ordered a messenger bag from Timbuk2 Designs, using their online Build Your Own Bag tool. When I opened the package they shipped me a few days later, I found, along with my bag, a letter that began like this:
New Timbuk2 Bag Owner,
Congratulations on your new purchase -- designed by you, built by us. No off-shore production, no sweat-shops, nothing but quality workmanship from the heart of downtown San Francisco. We stand behind our products 100% -- so if our bag falls apart (yeah, right!), if it fails to meet your most critical expectations, of if we just happened to screw up your order, go to www.timbuk2.com, click on the Customer Service page and follow the instructions for returning a bag.
That sounds good to me -- especially in a time when many companies profit by exploitation and therefore want me to remain ignorant of how they supply the products and services they sell. That sounds good to me in a time when many companies shirk responsibility and make me take all the risks and send me through labrynthine voice mail systems when I have a problem.
Sure, Timbuk2 isn't blameless. (For example, my bag is made of Cordura, a material manufactured solely by DuPont -- which isn't exactly a model for socially responsible bussinesses). But there is, at least, a tone of integrity, responsibility, and respect in their letter to me. And I appreciate that.
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