A fully bio-based, recyclable backpack

Design + Materials

This backpack is designed by Maren Middendorp, student Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. Maren wrote her Bachelor thesis in cooperation with us. The main research question addressed in the thesis is: “How to design a fully recyclable backpack out of Polylactic acid (PLA)?”.

In addition to the minimalistic style Arapaha uses returning elements which are recognizable for the brand. In this design Maren played with different ways to incorporate Arapaha’s avatar into the design.

Present + future

Further research must be carried out to define the different applications of PLA within the parts of the backpack. Moreover, prototypes need to be developed and tested to optimize the design, production, and function of the backpack. In addition, the claim to deliver a fully recyclable and sustainable product must be validated.

Based on the findings of this thesis, the design of the backpack can be further developed in the future. Maren has been scouting for different materials in the market and has been looking how they can be combined to create a well-performing backpack. This requires sturdy fabrics, ways to close the bag, and through interesting design choices she made, we believe it’s possible.