If you had one wish this holiday season (other than for the pandemic to be over, because I know for a fact that we all do), what would it be? Being a Filipino millennial on the go, allow me to share mine: a fashionable, functional, and sustainable urban bag!
I say this because it’s something I genuinely need given my go-getting lifestyle, but often end up denying myself. In the days when we’ve become even more reliant on single-use waste for the benefit of safety, now would be the best time to shop sustainably, whether you’re planning on getting a new urban bag like me, or other essentials for your loved ones this holiday season!
What is sustainable shopping or shopping sustainably?
As the holiday season calls on us to splurge on food, parties, and gifts, it’s not surprising how we tend to forget about the things we’re buying and what we do to buy them. Through sustainable shopping or shopping sustainably, we can make the most out of high-quality products and give back to the environment, all the while supporting zero carbon footprint efforts spearheaded by companies (among many other things).
In my journey to find an urban backpack that fits the bill, I found Deuter and its new UP series — a collection of urban backpacks or daypacks great for Filipino millennials, students, and yuppies. Widely known as a travel brand since its inception in 1898, Deuter happens to be an environment- and people-friendly backpack brand that now caters to urban dwellers like myself.
What’s really commendable (and something other lifestyle brands should learn from) is that all of the items in the Deuter UP series are made of 100% recycled materials. Specifically, PET or polyethylene terephthalate bottles. Each backpack, in fact, uses around 35 to 40 of these items. Some products even use yarn made completely from recycled industrial waste!
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Why you should try it, from buying urban bags to other essentials
With a focus on urban bags (because hey, we all need one), let me take you through some of the most fascinating reasons why shopping sustainably is something you should try this holiday season and beyond!
1. It helps protect the environment
Common among lifestyle products nowadays, such as water-repellent outdoor clothing, is the use of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals or PFC. Like the chemicals found in plastic bottles that end up in our landfills, this ‘virtually indestructible’ chemical has been known to contaminate air and drinking water. Ultimately, it causes reproductive failure and even cancer among exposed individuals and wildlife alike.
Companies like Deuter have so far managed to address both by not only using Durable Water Repellency beginning 2020, but also repurposing plastic bottles to create their urban backpacks. They’ve also reduced their use of other harmful elements like crude oil during production. In the end, both the repurposed materials and the resulting daypacks are bluesign®-certified, the leading environmental standard for textile products!
Down the same road, Deuter has a ‘repairing over tossing’ practise called the Deuter Promise, which offers repair services to keep you from buying a new bag as much as possible. When you avail this, on top of purchasing Deuter’s 100% recycled urban bags and PFC-free collection, you’ll be doing Mother Earth a life-changing favour!
2. It’s not as expensive as you think
Back when I was a naive young professional, I always had this idea that I’ll never be able to afford the things I want for one reason — the better their quality, the more expensive they tend to be. And I simply let it be. While this fact remains true today, what changed was my mindset towards it.
Now, it’s more of “It may not be something I would buy on a regular basis, but it’s worth spending my hard-earned money on.” In this regard, sustainable shopping isn’t as expensive as you might think. Whether it’s bags or any other everyday accessory, when you put life-long durability as your first priority, you’re actually saving a lot of money from buying new pieces every single time.
3. Function and style are still prioritised
Another thing that I feel is worth stressing is that sustainability should not and does not always hinder quality. When you put sustainable efforts and wanting to make a difference in the world first, should that mean that you have to settle on shopping for low-quality products? No.
To put it in perspective, many of us might already know that Deuter’s products are reliably sleek and simply fashionable. At the same time, they excel in function. For one, did you know that Deuter pioneered bike-specific backpacks and what they call the Aircomfort carry system, which maximises ventilation for the wearer? They were also one of the first to introduce backpacks specifically designed for the woman’s body called the SL series!
Along with many other milestones, these remain relevant today, and Deuter has managed to maintain this even while continuing its sustainability efforts. And so, the Deuter UP series was launched.
Exclusively available on the Deuter Philippines website, the urban backpacks come in three categories: The UP Stockholm, UP Sydney, and UP Seoul. Currently, only the UP Stockholm and UP Seoul bags are available in the Philippines. Nonetheless, all bags boast of quick and easy access, as well as stylish designs making them ideal for use in the city.
In addition, the UP Stockholm bags have a large U-zip opening and thoughtfully configured compartment, while the UP Seoul pieces highlight a wide aperture fold-over zip closure. Of course, they also come with ergonomically shaped back pads and removable abdominal straps to ensure maximum comfort! Oh, and did I mention that each bag also comes with its own Spotify playlist, too?
Moreover, Deuter has launched its Urban Belt collection for those who prefer to be a little more minimalist when going out. Also made from PET bottles and other PFC-free materials, these hip bags can carry up to 1.5 litres’ worth of items. They also feature a spacious main compartment with zipping, an adjustable waist strap, and a mesh inner pocket.
4. You’re also supporting the workers
More than helping the environment, brands that practise sustainability also adhere to global standards of fair treatment of their employees. By collaborating with Fair Wear Foundation, for example, Deuter ensures that its workers are fully taken care of throughout all stages of the manufacturing process, all the way down to sales.
For those of you who don’t know, Fair Wear Foundation is an organisation that audits the labour conditions of garment companies across the world. For many years, Deuter has partnered with them to guarantee proper working conditions for its staff. These include following a strict overtime policy to make sure that none of them are overworked!
And get this — despite everything that’s going on, Deuter hasn’t laid off a single employee in its two factories, Bellmart and Duke. Instead, the company made sure that orders were secured and paid in advance so that the workers won’t have to suffer financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. How cool is that?
Just recently, Fair Wear Foundation initiated a Black Friday campaign called #peoplefriendlyfashion to spread the word about conscious shopping. As a partner brand, Deuter was one of those that participated in the campaign. When you support companies that value the people behind the products you buy, you’re also promoting sustainability.
Furthermore, Deuter has kept in touch with its manufacturing partners Bellmart and Duke. Also both certified by bluesign®, they go hand in hand with Deuter to produce resource-efficient and people-friendly backpacks, including the UP daypack series!
5. It allows you share the message of sustainability
Many might find sustainability to be a blasé concept nowadays (everyone claims they’re sustainable when they’re really not). But know that the moment you start shopping sustainably, you’re not just making a change in lifestyle; you’re also sharing the message of sustainability to everyone around you.
To put it another way, when you buy an environment- and people-friendly product for yourself or for your loved one, just like those in the Deuter UP series, you’re also encouraging that person to do their part and be a more responsible citizen of the planet. If you ask me, this is the kind of spirit we should all be spreading at this time, and a much wiser use of our time in cyberspace while we all stay safe and sound at our homes!
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Shop sustainably with Deuter
With all its amazing features, the new Deuter UP series might already sound like the perfect holiday gift idea, because that’s exactly what it is! On your next round of online shopping, think of Deuter and its functional, fashionable, and sustainable urban bags.
In the short time it takes for you to click that purchase button, know that you’re already making a huge step to make this world a better place in your own way! What could be a better way to spend the holidays?
Brought to you by Deuter Philippines.