Riut blog

*RiutBag mailing begins* Freight, post + why I really made the RiutBag

*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

RiutBags are coming Between Friday this week and Monday next week, all Kickstarter backers' RiutBags will be in the post to your address. I'm sending international RiutBags first finishing with UK backers. Given the post takes 1-3 days in the UK, I expect the first RiutBags to arrive at the start of next week. Please allow 1-5 weeks for international delivery.

Addresses I'm missing 41 addresses from backers who have not yet completed their address survey. The only way to update your address is to complete the survey; there is no functionality for me to update your address. Please login to www.kickstarter.com, click on the announcement at the top of your screen asking you to fill in your address survey.

Why ship in November not December? I stated December delivery for your rewards on the Kickstarter campaign. Because some people are very far away from England, I wanted to ensure they receive their RiutBags in time for the holiday season too. I'm conservatively allowing 3-5 weeks to reach those furthest away from me. As a consequence, if you're closer, yours arrives very soon.

How to order more RiutBags Simply head to www.riut.co.uk to choose another RiutBag and have it shipped immediately after the Kickstarter RiutBags are sent.

VAT invoices Kickstarter sends every backer a receipt for their RiutBag pledge; your receipt arrived on 8th October 2015 when pledges were collected. As an American company, it is not required to declare VAT separately on its receipts and it will not send a separate VAT receipt. Please confirm the current rules on accounting for VAT for US services purchased with your accountant. Your financial transaction is with Kickstarter not Riut Limited. Riut Limited is under a duty to do its utmost to provide you with a RiutBag.

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Risks and challenges

I always report on risks and challenges before moving on to the rest of the project updates.

Postage + delivery The final hurdle is postage and arrival with you. Please allow 1-5 weeks for your RiutBags to arrive. 

National and international postage is an amazing process which allows us to get a physical thing through the hands, transport and borders of many countries right to your door. It's a challenging part of the project because the RiutBags are no longer in my hands. I must trust the postal services and I hope you'll be able to accept delivery to complete the process. It is possible that things go wrong, as well as loss or damage occurring. I'm here to help with that small percentage of cases where this happens.

Box label errors Creating anything, labelling, naming and boxing anything means small typos can cause large errors. Speaking to my fantastic postal fulfillment company just now, they have just spotted an error - which can be corrected in time.

The boxes for the grey R15s and black R10s were labelled the wrong way round. This meant, hundreds of RiutBag users would have received the wrong RiutBag. However, having spotting the error, we've just decided on a solution. All RiutBags will go out correctly.

When I write about risks, in theory, anything could wrong; in reality, only a small number of the infinite problems is likely to arise. We look at each problem, understand it, fix it and keep going.

As we near the completion of the project, all other risks have not materialised. This is excellent news for us all.

Full story: RiutBag update

In the past two weeks I've moved from checking every one of your RiutBags, to happily signing off on this production run and starting the next phase of the project: freight and distribution by post. 

Checked and boxed: RiutBags ready for freight

Checked and boxed: RiutBags ready for freight

Hui'an > Xiamen > London > Lincoln > you

In China last week, your RiutBags went by road from the factory in Hui'an to the airport in Xiamen. Xiamen is one of China's busiest ports and a stunning place. With all the paperwork in place for successful export, the RiutBags found their freight slot and flew from Xiamen to London, England. With my fantastic freight partners' help, the RiutBags made it safely through customs, VAT and duties were paid and they went straight by road up to Lincoln, in the east midlands of England. 

Now, in Lincoln with another great partner company, your RiutBags are picked by hand, put together in one package and labelled with your address. On Friday the first international packages will go out. All UK RiutBags will be sent on Monday next week.

As promised, in each RiutBag you've got a little extra to try out. I've included 4 different coloured Riut bands. I've designed them to clip around the main handle on your RiutBag so you can identify your RiutBag easily or distinguish one from another. If you find other uses, do let me know in the feedback survey in early 2016.

Riut band prototype to test

Riut band prototype to test

Why I really made the RiutBag

I spend all my time thinking about RiutBags and how they can be improved. As I work with you and the RiutBag users to develop this concept, to me one of the most questions is not just "how" but "why" should we keep changing this design?

Peace of mind Why is it that the RiutBag design - making our functional rucksacks and backpacks safer - is better? We know, it's designed to give us peace of mind. But is peace of mind an end in itself? I suppose it is. But I realised recently what the experience of wearing a RiutBag is really like for me. Let me show you.

First city I left my hometown, Reading, when I was 18 and moved to Manchester to study. It was my first experience living in a city. I was a teenager; I never worried about crime, theft, safety or security. I strolled around at 4am as happily as I did at 4pm. I was totally oblivious to the potential that, for example, my wallet could be easily stolen. But in reality, I had nothing worth stealing. And perhaps that's why I didn't worry.

Early 20s After university, I moved to Paris. At the time, Paris had a higher and more obvious crime rate than Manchester. It was normal to hear that a phone or wallet had been stolen. Yet, we still tumbled about the city with a sense of almost total abandon. Fast forward a few years, finding a home in Berlin, I bought my first laptop. It was the most expensive thing I'd ever owned and I just carried it around in a canvas tote bag. I had something worth taking, yet still no worry. But why am I telling you this?

Growing up For some reason, it was when I had a "proper" job and regular commute in my late 20s, that the grownup concerns of security set in. When I had the RiutBag idea, I was really trying to rid myself of my concerns and get back to the carefree style with which I used to move around.

Return to my youth When I walk around busy cities with my RiutBag these days I realise I really have regained some of my youthful forgetfulness: I daydream, notice small details in the streets around me, people watch, read, listen to music and get lost in my thoughts. No agitation, no checking, no concern. Funnily, just like my 23 year old self.

This is simply an addition to understanding the reasons that design could benefit us. That's what I realised as I stood in a packed tram in Hong Kong and watched the city around me. 

[Time lapse video: no sound]

We all have different reasons for choosing to feel safe and secure. When I ask for your feedback about your RiutBag in a survey in early 2016, I'd love to hear how the RiutBag makes you feel and why you think that is.

RiutBag story + you

Here's a reminder of the steps I took to get here and, if you scroll down, you'll see how you are now part of the RiutBag story too.

We're nearly there, backers. When you get your RiutBag, do come and let me know it's arrived safely at www.twitter.com/_riut and www.facebook.com/riutbag. This is an idea you made happen and, now, a company you've started. It's amazing what can happen in a few swift clicks online these days. Thanks for choosing to give this idea your support.

Til my next update in 14 days,

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*