The clothes you buy can have a huge impact on other people's lives. The millennial-owned company Adventurist Backpack Co. provides 25 meals to families in need with every bag purchase. Adventurist Backpack Co. is owned and run by 24-year old Matilda Sandstrom and her husband Kelly Belknap. The pair launched the brand 18 months ago in Denver, CO. Adventurist Backpack Co. designs minimalist Scandinavian style backpacks, and the brand has partnered with Feeding America to donate meals to families in need across the U.S. Since its launch in Sept. 2018, the brand has delivered nearly 100,000 meals.
According to a press release, the idea for the backpack sprouted out of frustration. Sandstrom and Belknap went on an around-the-world trip in 2017, and they couldn't find high-quality and stylish backpacks that were also affordable. The ones that caught Sandstrom's and Belknap's interests clocked in at $150 or above. That's why their bags are all under $100.
The couple decided to create their own prototype, using all-weather materials and the Scandinavian style from Sandstrom's home country, Sweden. "What Warby Parker did with glasses, we hope to do with backpacks," Sandstrom tells Bustle via email.
The backpacks are made from durable polyester and synthetic leather that is water-resistant. They have front and back padding to keep your items safe, and can easily slip underneath an airplane seat. There are four colors you can choose from: black, pine, brick, and sand.
The couple's trip also inspired the philanthropic part of their business. While Sandstrom and Belknap were traveling, they met families that were struggling with hunger. Wanting to help, the couple prepared meals each morning and packed them into their bags, handing them out to those in need throughout the day. When Sandstrom and Belknap came back to the States, they realized that there were many families struggling with hunger in their own communities.
In their journey, they were able to fit 25 meals in their backpack. Now they will provide 25 meals with each backpack sold.
Through Feeding America, Adventurist Backpack Co. buys the excess food that farmers aren't able to sell, and then distributes it to food banks in each state. This not only helps to reduce food waste, but gives the food to struggling families.
Adventurist Backpack Co.'s goal is to provide 200,000 meals by the end of its second year.
"The most rewarding part for us is knowing that we can help play a part in getting people back on their feet after hard situations," Sandstrom and Belknap tell Bustle via email. "Waking up each morning and being fortunate enough to do something that we love and are passionate about is actually priceless. We definitely encourage other like-minded entrepreneurs to create their own path while also finding a way to give back."
Come July, you will also be able to shop this Scandinavian-inspired brand in person. Urban Outfitters will start selling Adventurist Backpack Co. in July. In addition to the UO launch, Adventurist Backpack Co. will also be releasing two new designs and a fanny pack that will be available by this summer. You will be able to stock up on stylish affordable backpacks, and help families in your community all at the same time.