Timbuk2 Life Cycle Program Empowers Customers to Extend the Life of Their Bags

Timbuk2 Life Cycle Program Empowers Customers to Extend the Life of Their BagsInstead of urging people to go out and buy a new “green” product for Earth Day, Timbuk2 wants its customers to be able to extend the life of the bags they already own, by repairing them or reusing them, or failing that, to recycle them responsibly.

The iconic messenger bag company has just launched a new environmental responsibility initiative, dubbed Life Cycle, and has partnered with iFixit, Yerdle, and TerraCycle, and has hired a full-time sewer for making repairs to their bags at their facility in San Francisco. The program, which was inspired by Patagonia’s Common Threads Partnership, and the recipient of mentoring and development help from that company, is being launched in the hope that Timbuk2’s customers find it “both useful and inspiring.”

The Timbuk2 Life Cycle program revolves around five pillars of sustainability (similar to Patagonia’s 5 Rs), namely to reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, and reimagine the product, so no matter what condition a customer’s bag is in, it’s virtually guaranteed to have a second life.

“The Timbuk2 Life Cycle is the most responsible thing we can do environmentally – extending the life of our existing products – and we are passionate about the reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and reimagine aspects of the program.” – Timbuk2 Brand Director Lizzy Fallows

The keystone of the initiative, at least to my way of thinking, is the focus on reducing the need to constantly buy new items, by purchasing products made with the craftsmanship and quality that will last for a long time.

To empower the next pillar of the program, reuse, the company has partnered with Yerdle, where customers can give away products they no longer need (such as their old Timbuk2 bag) and earn points to get products from others that they do want. If, instead of using Yerdle, customers want Timbuk2 to do it, they can send their old bag to the company, which will find a new home for it via one of their local nonprofit partners, and get a 30% off coupon for their next Timbuk2 purchase (through April 2014).

By repairing their Timbuk2 bags and keeping them functional, customers can give them a second life, and the company’s partnership with iFixit to host manuals and videos for repairing the bags empower a DIY ethic in customers. But if it’s beyond a DIY fix (or if customers don’t want to try their hand at repairing it), Timbuk2 now has a full-time sewer just for repairing bags that customers send in.

If the customer’s bag is beyond repair, it can be sent to Timbuk2 to be recycled through their partnership with TerraCycle, and those customers will get a 30% off deal for the month of April 2014, and a 20% off deal after that point.

Finally, if reducing, reusing, repairing, or recycling aren’t really applicable to a customer’s needs, Timbuk2 challenges customers to reimagine their bag by creating something entirely new from it.

Get the full scoop on Timbuk2’s Life Cycle program.

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!