It looks simple and innocuous, not that different from other backpacks. So why is this "better backpack" on Kickstarter, or for that matter, TreeHugger? In this era where everyone is bemoaning fast fashion, designer Daniel Eckler says that the "goal was to design a timeless, minimal+functional backpack that lasts more than a lifetime." It might do that, being made from 100% cotton canvas; I bought a WWII surplus canvas knapsack in high school and my son is still using it.
They hit a lot of TreeHugger buttons with their description.
At MIJLO, we believe that fashion doesn’t have to be fast, or disposable, or temporary....We believe a product’s lifespan should be as timeless as its design - simplicity and sustainability were an integral part of our design process.
If it does wear out, or you get tired of it, they will take it back and give you a 10% rebate. This is the kind of producer responsibility we have been talking about for years, in posts like It's time for deposits on everything.
It appears to be the first product from a new company, MIJLO, which claims "It’s our mission to be at the forefront of sustainable design." Founder Daniel Eckler is primarily a digital designer, known most recently for his Remembrum project. Perhaps as part of his market research, he used his digital connections to get a whole crowd of well-known designers to photograph their own essential belongings, which are fascinating.
Eckler tells TreeHugger that he wanted to sell this bag at an accessible and affordable price, ($39) so it is currently being sourced in China. However he says "depending on the success of the campaign we hope to introduce a stretch goal to get it made in North America." That is a tough trade-off in sustainable design. It will be a real accomplishment to sell a better backpack at a fast-fashion price like that. More at Kickstarter.