Riut blog

RiutBags: On schedule + two tonnes of RiutBag + a little extra to test :)

*www.riut.co.uk order the RiutBag: backwards backpack for secure city travel*

*www.twitter.com/_riut tweets*

*www.facebook.com/riutbag videos + updates*

For those short on time

Current status Your RiutBags are nearly complete. I've checked over 2 tonnes of RiutBags, one by one, in the past 10 days. They are nearly ready to pack, box and send to England for posting to you. See www.facebook.com/riutbag and www.twitter.com/_riut for bitesize RiutBag news as it happens.

To do Please fill in your address survey if you haven't; without it I can't send your RiutBags. I recommend using an address - work, friend, family - where someone can accept a day time delivery. That way, we increase the chance of successfully getting your RiutBag to you.

Finding the address survey: it was sent as an email from Kickstarter sent 10th October 2015 and it is in your Kickstarter.com profile under this project in "backed projects". 

Expected delivery UK - mid November, Europe - late November/early December, rest of the world - first half of December. We're on time.

Invoices To everyone who requires a receipt or invoice, I'm currently discussing this with Kickstarter. 5% of your pledge goes to Kickstarter and 2-3% to the payment administrator. Therefore, I cannot give you a receipt or invoice for the full amount because I don't receive it all. I'll be able to update you fully in the next 7 days.


The full story!

Dear backers, as promised, every two weeks I will update you on the progress of your RiutBag project. I always start with the risks and challenges, then move on to update you on progress in the past fortnight. 

RiutBag news 2015 Riut Kickstarter

Risks and challenges

Two problems, solved In the past ten days two problems arose, neither of which will impact backers negatively. 1) We noticed one construction problem: the R10s' lower strap attachment had not been sewn correctly. We took action immediately; it took two days to restitch this seam. 2) One production line stitcher used the wrong colour thread (black) on the grey R15s for one seam. These have all been resewn using grey thread. All is well.

Working with this factory Manufacturing 2300 of anything is not easy. The risks for RiutBag manufacture are much lower now, however, simply because this is the second time I've worked with this factory to create a production run of RiutBags. As a consequence, all the materials, finishes and details have successfully been transferred from the designed prototype to your RiutBag models. 

Risks ahead 

Typhoon warning As I mentioned in the Kickstarter video, the RiutBag factory is in Hui'an, China. This is in Fujian. This year aolne, Fujian experienced two tropical storms and typhoons. This week, a new typhoon warning was announced. The factory staff are calm and have backup procedures if there is an impact. However, with the majority of manufacture out of the way, the risk of negative impact to the project is medium/low. 

Customs Once we're out of the typhoon's way, the next risk is quite a different one: export from Xiamen, China and import to London, England. My freight teams are ready in China and England, with all documentation prepared to allow the 2.5 tonnes of RiutBags into the UK. It is possible that customs will stop the RiutBags and require a full inspection, increasing the time before postage. This is a risk, though it remains relatively low. 

Posting to you The final risk ahead is the highest one: the post. Once we've put your RiutBags in the post, I no longer have control of your RiutBags, even with tracking. 98-99% will arrive and arrive on time; 1-2% will be late or be lost. I'm countering this by allowing as much time as possible for the RiutBags to reach you. I know many of these RiutBags are Christmas presents. That's why I've prepared this project to send out RiutBags in November, so your RiutBags arrive when you need them.

I'm here If there are problems, you can message me at any time and we'll find the best solution as quickly as possible. 

Reminder for backers

This is your last call for addresses so I can I send your RiutBag to you! I will soon be locking the address surveys so I prepare your addresses for correct postage. 

Since starting Riut as an online company, posting RiutBags to RiutBag users has been one of the most challening parts of the process. I use a range of couriers - DPD, Fedex, DHL and local UK couriers. For ease of delivery, I suggest you use an address where you know someone can collect it. It could be work, a friend or family member. UK backers, there's a great service called Doddle.com. You can have goods delivered to your nearest train station as you return from work. Check it out :) 

Finding the address survey: it was sent as an email from Kickstarter sent 10th October 2015 and it is in your Kickstarter.com profile under this project in "backed projects".

On schedule

This time two weeks ago we celebrated as you - the incredible Kickstarter crowd - funded the new production run of RiutBags: the backwards backpack for secure city travel. The RiutBags you've helped created? The first ever RiutBags R15 and RiutBags R10 in black and grey.

Holiday season I created this Kickstarter campaign so that you would have the chance to back the project in September/October, and receive your RiutBag in time for holiday season in December. With a collosal effort by the 32 people stitching and sewing your RiutBags at sewing machines, we're 340 RiutBags away from completion. That means, everyone gets their RiutBags on time.

Arrival dates If all goes well and the above risks do not turn into problems, I will be posting the RiutBags from England in mid November giving the international backers plenty of time to receive them. UK backers, as soon as the international RiutBag has been sent, I'll send yours. That means, yours will arrive in mid/late November :)

Two tonnes of RiutBag

There are thousands of processes which go into a building a RiutBag and getting it to you, the RiutBag user. All the materials are made from scratch ordered and sent from about 20 different suppliers. They are cut to size using unique cutting moulds, cut, stacked and prepared for being sewed. Then, piece by piece, starting from the inside, each seam is completed 2300 times before moving on to the next process. Once carried out on enough pieces, the RiutBag starts to appear. 

Making RiutBags handmade in China

Here's what's happened in the past 10 days:

Now recognisable RiutBags come off the production line. I arrived last week to check the RiutBags, one by one, as they are finished.

Its threads are cut off by one person and an inital quality control inspection is completed. Problem RiutBags go back to the production line stitchers for fixing; good RiutBags come to me for an indepth look at every seam, label, buckle and zip, and I cut loose final threads. RiutBags not up to scratch by my standards are sent to the director of the production line. She fixes them and sends them back to me for final approval. Good RiutBags go to be packed, remaining problems go back to the director until we find a solution. Repeat 2300 times + the number of RiutBags which had a few takes to reach the standard I want.

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In the last ten days, I've checked over two tonnes of RiutBags. I can tell you, my hands, forearms and upper body are notably stronger. An upexpected side effect of this approach to quality control!

(timeplapse video: no sound)

A little extra to test :)

I always ask users for feedback. In fact, Riut is powered by user thinking. In February or March 2016, when you've all tested your RiutBags, I'll be asking for your feedback. 

Earlier this year, 1200 RiutBag users tested the first production run. Their feedback built the two models you will receive: RiutBag R15 and RiutBag R10, in the black and grey. 

Two problems came out of the feedback data. 1) Some RiutBag users wanted to personalise their RiutBags and/or give them a splash of colour. 2) When there is more than one RiutBag around, RiutBag users said they found themselves picking up the wrong one! This could happen, if there was more than one RiutBag in a household, on holiday or on tour somewhere. For those of you who have backed the full set, you might know what I mean.

I'd like to give you a very simply prototype to try out, which I hope will help solve these user problems: Riut bands. I'm including four coloured Riut bands in each RiutBag - red, blue, green and pink - for you.

Riut bands prototypes for everyone

I've designed them to fit around your main RiutBag handle. This way, when you go to grab your RiutBag, you'll know which one is yours. Or if you're switching between R10 and R15, the Riut band in different colours may also help.

In February 2016, I'll ask for your feedback about the RiutBag and I'll include a section on the Riut band prototypes. Are they useful in principle? Did they solve any problems? Did you find other uses for them which are more important to you? Should a fully sculpted design become part of every RiutBag?

Have a go and see whether they are any good. I hope the outcome will be that you find it easier to use and identify it. If you find other uses, or think they do nothing for you, just let me know in the feedback survey next year. 

Thanks for being here and keeping me on track. It helps me so much to make your RiutBags even better and motivates me every day to have the RiutBag users' support. They're coming :)

Kind regards


*www.riut.co.uk order the RiutBag: backwards backpack for secure city travel*

*www.twitter.com/_riut tweets*

*www.facebook.com/riutbag videos + updates*