Basic, Done Right
Have you ever noticed how difficult or expensive it is to get basic stuff done simply? A pair of pants in a classic cut with durable fabric. Sneakers without neon colors or a huge logo emblazoned upon it. Fashion tends to value timely over timeless design, thereby imposing planned obsolescence, replacement and greater profits. Designer Daniel Eckler and his company MIJLO (my-lō) seem to understand this situation, and have created a response in the form of a product called “A Better Backpack.” Rather than creating a crazily festooned pack with secret pockets made of kevlar reinforced recycled bamboo fibers, they are making a simple canvas bag, classically styled, with just enough features to get the job done.
The bag’s exterior is made of 100% cotton canvas with a waterproof lining to protect electronics and paper. There is an internal padded sleeve for a laptop–a necessity nowadays. All hardware is metal to ensure durability. It is available in four muted, fad-resistant colors. There are not many more features than that.
MIJLO sees the bag as a response to “disposable design.” From their website:
In recent years, fashion retailers have been moving designs from the runway to the rack faster than ever before – feeding a fashion cycle that appears to have no end in sight. At MIJLO, we believe that fashion doesn’t have to be fast, or disposable, or temporary. We believe it should begin and end with a classic collection of well-designed essentials. And we’re starting that collection with a backpack – A Better Backpack. Since we believe a product’s lifespan should be as timeless as its design–simplicity and sustainability were an integral part of our design process.
While they want people to hold onto the bag forever, they also know sometimes people get rid of things, so they offer a 10% buyback for your old bag when you’re through with it. Materials are then recycled for future products.
Like many products we’ve been featuring lately, A Better Bag is being promoted and funded through a Kickstarter campaign. You can purchase a bag with a $39CAD ($37US) pledge. With almost 40% funding received in a day of campaigning, it seems as though a lot of people want things that last longer than a whim.