What is a vegan backpack?
Author: secure travel backpack designer Sarah Giblin
Welcome to 2018 where even backpacks can be vegan. Yes, veganism and ethical consumption are on the rise, especially in wealthy developed urban societies.
Some of the changes you'll notice on the high street relating to veganism are simple relabelling. Your suit, socks and pants always have been vegan. Same with all your veg, pasta, ketchup, toast, jam and cucumber sandwiches. They are just more clearly marked as vegan these days. There are other products that weren’t vegan - like Guinness and Ikea’s meatballs - that have decided to change their ingredients to cater for vegans and, possibly, to reduce their reliance on products made with animals' bodies.
Are backpacks vegan?
Some backpacks are vegan, and others other not. Looking more closely at clothing, furniture and accessories, and the companies that make them, shows us they may contain animal products; sometimes clearly and sometimes without us realising.
What is a vegan backpack?
A backpack is a bag you wear with straps carrying the weight evenly over both shoulders on your back. A vegan backpack is one where no leather, no fur, no animal glues, no ground up animal bones or crushed up beetles is used anywhere in its making. It’s vegan, which means it doesn’t use any animal products.
Vegan laptop backpack, RiutBag
Meet RiutBag, an awesome secure laptop backpack which is also vegan. The RiutBag laptop backpack is made entirely from durable synthetic materials, from the outer materials to the thread, adhesives and buckles.
As an urban travel backpack, its unique and simple design keep your belongings safe and gives you peace of mind. No one can open the zips except you. That’s useful when you travel a lot through busy urban hubs. So, where are the zips? They are all neatly protected by your back.
Ethical backpack company
Riut was founded by Sarah Giblin in the UK, funded on Kickstarter and she runs it for her RiutBag users with a, perhaps, surprising focus on ethics. Sarah studied philosophy and ethics for many years. Now, creating backpacks, the ethics has stuck. Some people are looking for companies exactly like this; others don’t really care and they get the ethics free.
When Sarah first made the move from being a consumer to a manufacturer in 2014, the choice regarding using animal products became much clearer.
As well as designing the RiutBags, Sarah personally knows everyone who helps to make them a reality. She works alongside the production line team, the material suppliers, the people who pack them and who handle the freight. By supporting Riut and using RiutBags, you have direct access to the source of every materials, the working conditions of every person who makes them and the methods used. This is one of the benefits of working with smaller companies with simple supply chains.
Riut stands for Revolution in user thinking. Sarah, Riut's founder, shares everything she can about her RiutBags. You can follow her around the factory where they are made, see her checking the backpacks, see the people who make the RiutBags and how they are packaged and shipped. Her idea is share the reality of her products, so you can learn more about the products you use and about the global economy of which we are part as consumers.
It’s a way of running a company that allow users to have a revolution in their own thinking, support startups with big ideas, who which to shop ethically and make choices that make sense to them. The only way to do that is to share how this company works with you.
Riut is a one-person startup. This gives its founder, Sarah Giblin, total control over which materials she buys, how she manufactures RiutBags.
I’m Sarah. I spend my time equally between Berlin, London and travel around the rest of the world. Veganism is important to me personally but also because I design and build backpacks called RiutBag, designed with security at their core. My company is called Riut - that stands for Revolution in user thinking. I don't want to only share my design with you, but the thinking and behaviours which help us truly adapt to our urban environment: making good choices, feeling calm, confident and comfortable wherever we go today and in the future.