Making of a Fan Favorite: The Diaspora Co Market Tote Became a Reorder Staple


In 2019, the founder of the “better spice” company Diaspora Co. reached out to us with a unique request. She needed a high-quality, roomy bag that could hold plenty of fresh veggies and groceries, along with their signature spices. But, she hadn’t found anything on the market that quite met her needs. That’s where WORK+SHELTER came in.

The Diaspora Co. Market Tote has been a staple of their catalog for years now.

We were thrilled to collaborate with Diaspora Co. to create the perfect Market Tote. Over the course of a year, we worked tirelessly to refine the shape and construction details of what has now become an iconic product. The Diaspora Co. team provided a digital mock-up of their ideal bag, and our talented India team took that vision to the next level. Through meticulous sewing and a detailed sampling process, we made the necessary tweaks to ensure the bag met all their expectations and more.

From concept to finished work.

But it wasn’t just about the design. We also worked closely with Diaspora Co. to identify a supply chain that matched their company values. This included using organic cotton, recycled plastic zippers, and ensuring a tough design that could be used year after year. Diaspora Co. was instrumental in this process, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability by being willing to purchase a higher volume of items. This ensured that we could access the right environmentally friendly materials and suppliers for them.

From Pantone Matching to Screenprinting and sewing labels. It’s all in the details.

This year we’ve also included our custom co-branded tags to the design. We even matched the thread used for the embroidery to the bag!

Co-branded tags are a Work+Shelter staple.


Our hard work paid off. Five years later, we’ve produced nearly 10,000 totes, with five reorders and three different limited edition prints. This ongoing success demonstrates the power of a well-crafted, thoughtfully designed product, supported by a values-driven supply chain.

Disapora Co & Work+Shelter through the years.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this collaboration is the consistency it provides for Diaspora Co. Whenever they have new artwork or a fresh creative vision, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. They already have a staple product that their fans love and reorder time and again. The high quality and intentional artwork mean that some customers make a purchase every time a new color or design is launched, knowing they are getting a bag that is not only beautiful but also reliable.

Get on the waitlist for the Hella Spicy Disapora Co. Market tote.

The Market Tote has truly become a fan favorite, embodying the values of both Diaspora Co. and WORK+SHELTER. It’s a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration, dedication, and a shared commitment to quality and sustainability.

As we look back on the journey of creating the Market Tote, we are proud of the impact it has had and excited for the future. Here’s to many more years of collaboration and creativity!

Interested in working with us? Tell us about your design here!