As the fashion industry moves more and more towards sustainability, Dagne Dover appeared to meet consumer demand. The eco-conscious brand creates bags, backpacks and wallets with a functional minimalist design made for today’s modern lifestyle, which can easily switch from work to play and travel. It was founded in 2013 by three women – Melissa Mash (CEO), Deepa Gandhi (COO) and Jessy Dover (CCO) – all of whom have a passionate commitment to environmentally and socially aware business practices.
All products from the Dagne Dover line with signature + leather have recycled Repreva linings and dust bags made entirely of plastic bottles. Many items are 100% vegan. The company focuses on ethical production, waste minimization and avoidance of toxic chemicals in production. Dagne Dover’s leading store is located in Soho, and the products are also sold at all Nordstrom locations in the US and Canada, as well as online.
“As a company, we’ve always loved what we do, but in the beginning, the lack of sustainable material options was a problem that didn’t make us feel 100% great,” the co-founders said. “We are now more proud than ever of the products we present to our customers. Sustainability comes home because as parents we always talk to our children about climate change. We must do our best to preserve nature for them. “
Melissa Mash is the co-founder and CEO of Dagna Dover. She says her life goal is to “discover, innovate and advocate.” The purpose of my life is not something I have decided on – it is what I have noticed that energizes me and what I strive for. Your purpose in life is revealed to you when you truly immerse yourself in what you are and adjust to the things in your life that fill your glass. ”
Mash remembers reading Walden Henry David Thoreau in high school and learning about the concept of “walking in a dream through life”. That had a profound effect on her. “For me, pursuing a career that I have created for myself is the best way for me to achieve a sense of freedom. “Since I was involved in entrepreneurship, I can choose how to constantly change and fulfill my job,” she explains.
“There is nothing more powerful than turning dreams into reality, especially for others,” says Deepa Gandhi, co-founder and COO of Dagne Dover. “I love celebrating and advocating for people, and I want people to feel empowered to live a life they are proud of. I am inspired by others who have built their own path and have not let the rules stop them. ”
Gandhi considers himself lucky to be able to pursue a career that has value and meaning. “Being able to spend my day doing what I love allows me to bring positive and empowered energy into everything I do,” she says. “This time it allows me to combine my passion with everyday, which leads to a feeling of immense fulfillment and joy.”
As a co-founder and creative director at Dagne Dover, Jessy Dover designs the company’s products. “My passion for design led me to design products and from there I fell in love with bag design,” she says. “My successes have guided me, and my family and friends have encouraged me to pursue my desires despite all the challenges I have encountered along the way. Brave people who overcame prejudices and surpassed prospects have always been my inspiration: my mother, Frida Kahlo, Virgil Abloh, Jil Sander and RBG to name a few! ”
It’s hard to be an entrepreneur, says Dover. “Your conscious mind is more often overloaded. It is necessary to make important decisions, so there can be a lot of feelings of fatigue and pressure. Being a designer is also very vulnerable. Exposing your heart to the world day in and day out can be heartbreaking and even embarrassing. ” However, the rewards make it valuable. “The beauty is in the victories and successes and the people you meet along the way.”
As soon as the Covid pandemic began in the spring of 2020, Dagne Dover and Rhone co-founder Brands for the better, a group of digitally sourced brands that have come together to donate a portion of the proceeds to Covid aid organizations such as Feeding America, The CDC Foundation and Save the Children. The program has donated over $ 4 million so far.
For others who want to align their careers with their life purpose, three co-founders of Dagna Dover offer this advice. ‘When you’re just starting your career, you can feel like’ everyone’s on the way except me. ‘ Don’t compare yourself to others. Invest time and energy in doing things that enlighten you. Besides, just because you’re good at something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. There is a difference between the two, and understanding that difference also helps you make better decisions about your career. ”