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Creating an Impact: Talking Sustainability with GOT BAG

When GOT BAG started creating backpacks in 2016, they had one mission in mind. “We are dedicating our efforts to clean oceans and the responsible use of plastic,” says their mission statement, “our mission to ‘Create an Impact’ represents the fact that we not only act sustainably, but actively bring on change! Together with the GOT BAG Family we raise awareness and sensitize people worldwide to a more conscious use of natural resources.” Today, the GOT BAG Impact spans the globe, interacting with sustainability in North America, Germany, China, and Indonesia. A truly global effort, this award-winning sustainability startup is making a splash in the world of environmentally conscious consumption. 

“I got involved with GOT BAG as I was coming out of college,” said Head of North American Brand Development, Case Davis. After working to complete a film degree at the University of Denver, Davis said he “just fell in love with the company and the sustainable initiatives and stuck with it.” GOT BAG’s initiatives span from environmental protection to worker’s rights in Indonesia. Davis’s work allows him to travel throughout North America with GOT BAG to create content and spread awareness for this startup’s unique approach to sustainability. 

“GOT BAG is the world’s first backpack made out of recycled ocean plastic. You have a lot of competitors out there who make backpacks that are either 25% or 30% recycled plastic content. We dedicate ourselves to a material that is composed of 100% recycled ocean plastic,” said Davis. GOT BAG collects ocean plastics from the oceans of Indonesia, where they have created a recycling and clean up program. “Indonesia, and Java Demuk in particular are places in the world that have been hit very hard by the plastic plague… Java, Indonesia and Indonesia at large has a really big plastic pollution problem and there is no infrastructure in place for local communities to deal with it. So what GOT BAG does is we don’t just commission these fishermen to engage in the plastic crisis, but we also hold a lot of seminars and education around how we can use plastic responsibly,” said Davis of GOT BAG’s work in Indonesia. The collected plastics in Indonesia are consciously delivered to China where coating and production begins. In an effort to avoid the large carbon footprint associated with global shipping and production, GOT BAG “train and cargo ship everything, so [they] avoid massive carbon outputs like airplanes.” Once produced, the Got Bags are sold all across North America and Europe. 

This Blue Sign Certified company guarantees an absence of worker and land exploitation as part of its production process. It is evident that every step of the GOT BAG process is executed with the environment and the global economy in mind first. “What do we do to stimulate the local economy but not to disrupt it? Pay them slightly less than they would receive for a pound of fish, this way the local economy is not absolutely shot and everyone stops fishing and gets plastic instead. It’s how we reach that equilibrium,” Davis explained. 

As a recipient of the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award, GOT BAG has proved that the quality of this company, the people within its offices, and the products themselves are truly unparalleled in the sustainability industry. For all the adventures life throws at you, GOT BAG has the perfect bag for the occasion. The Weekender is the perfect duffle for a quick trip to the mountains or as a rope bag for rock climbing. “Our hero product is the Rolltop Backpack,”  said Davis. This waterproof backpack comes with a removable laptop sleeve that’s also made out of recycled material. “It’s just extremely versatile,” said Davis, “you can use it for commuting back and forth to school. I use mine when I ski all the time because it is waterproof.”

To purchase a GOT BAG, visit their website. Students at CU Boulder can purchase a GOT BAG with a 20% discount by using code “BOULDERBACKPACK” during checkout. 

By supporting this brand, you are supporting sustainability and their mission to create an impact. This brand is changing the way we experience the outdoors while protecting our oceans. Get your GOT BAG today! 

Alia Davis

CU Boulder '23

Alia is the Director of Outreach and a writer for Her Campus CU Boulder. She is a third year student majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology. When she isn't writing articles, she can typically be spotted on a run, watching Wes Anderson films, or re-reading Dune.
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