Sustainable Backpack

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Backpack made of recycled Materials

I created a back pack made of materials I recycled while I was “dumpster diving”. This backpack is Ideal for hiking, made for an artist. The concept is that I wanted something that could neatly organize and hold all of my painting supplies for when I go out landscape painting. Most of the compartments are interchangeable giving you the option of either leaving or bringing extra materials.

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Planned Obsolescence and Sustainable design

In industrial design, Planned Obsolescence is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.

Creating products which are meant to have a short life span or ” Designed for the dump” as Annie Leonard, the founder of  non-profit Story of Stuff Project calls it, stimulates demand by encouraging purchasers to buy sooner if they still want a functioning product. Built-in obsolescence is used in many different products and can influence a company’s decisions about product engineering. Therefore the company can use the least expensive components that satisfy the product lifetime projections

Electronic waste alone accounts for 25 million tons of waste a year. The big problem is that these products are produced with many harmful toxic chemicals, and all of that is ending up in a landfill overseas or being burned, thus releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. What goes in must come out.

Creating products which are sustainable is great but if we keep designing products which are meant to break down in a matter of months we really aren’t being sustainable at all. It is not the objects themselves which are unsustainable, it’s the systems that produce them. “…to be sustainable, any given asset, no matter what it is, must be kept whole,without making significant trade offs that undermine the capital used to generate and maintain it.”( Mathew E. May, In pursuit of Elegance pg 143)

As critical thinkers we have to restrain our self’s from the human instinct of reacting. Instead we must stop and contemplate the idea not only as a social issue but approach it in a way that we can creatively think as artists to come up with innovative concepts and designs.

“A sustainable idea is the visible outcome of viewing finite resources as scarce and precious…and exploiting the one external source of creativity and innovation: observation.” (Mathew E. May, In pursuit of Elegance pg 174)

by Emily Leon



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taylor Welden: Hiking and photo backpack

Designer: Taylor Welden

NANEU: K5 hybrid full-featured Hiking+Photo backpack
Shutterbug “Best of Show” Award at PMA 2008.
“As with all Naneu Pro bags, this pack is made to be durable and withstand the elements. The camera insert is actually its own photo pack, complete with shoulder harness, or it can be worn as a chest pack in tandem with the main pack. When the internal pack is removed, the main pack can be used to transport clothing and other supplies.
Revisions by Yaniv Haramaty and Jensen Pauwels.
All images copyright NANEU 2009 (

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Mariclaro Sustainable Designs

Mariclaro is a Toronto based sustainable design company that focuses on fashion and accessories. From bags made of car upholstery to jackets made from exploded airbags, earrings from 8mm film and bike tubes, we design high quality eco-fashion and accessories. Mariclaro designs are all one of a kind pieces handmade in Toronto from recycled materials.

This sports / all day bag is called Aries.The bag is hand cut and a one of a kind piece MADE IN CANADA. All Mariclaro bags are 99% recycled (the 1% is made up of thread and our logo; still not available recycled) and made in a sustainable way. This bag is made of recycled seat belts.

This backpack is made of old safety airbags from cars.

This pair of earrings is part of the Mariclaro Analog series. Its made from original 8 mm Film. You are actually able to see the images on the film. On the back of the packet it shows the specific movie the earrings are made of.

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Spencer Nikosey

Spencer Nikosey uses recycled materials from parachutes to military truck tarps to create luxury bags and carriers.

Below is a backpack made of re-purposed “used in combat” Military truck tarp (exterior)

Below is a bag made of Parachutes from Air force planes. The bag can hold a significant amount of weight and then conveniently collapses into something that can fit in you pocket.

The material gives the product a back story, which makes the consumer intrigued to be buying something which was made from an existing object.  Other wise these materials would be sitting in a dump/ landfill for many many years.


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