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people-first sustainability

Since 2011, we’ve been supporting quality jobs in the poorest parts of Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan through First MileTM: a people-first supply chain committed to traceable sourcing and fair working conditions.

Locals make a living collecting and recycling plastic bottles, which then get transformed into innovative fabrics that are on the cutting edge of responsible retail.

When it comes to manufacturing our products, we only work with partners who are committed to improving their own environmental sustainability and making the retail industry a safe, fair place to work.

These practices are still far from what’s standard in retail. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to do more good, and ultimately challenge the rest of the industry to follow our lead.

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a plastic - Day Owl

a plastic
bottle’s full
potential

Every bag we make is made out of post-consumer recycled bottles that are destined to end up in a landfill or the ocean. Using these bottles, we created a first-of-its-kind waxed canvas that’s more durable, weather-resistant, and sustainable than traditional cotton. Here's how it stacks up against your current cotton or virgin polyester backpack (which is made directly from a barrel of oil).

for each bag made:

25

Bottles saved from landfills and ocean

700 gallons

water saved, compared to comparably sized cotton bag

1.2 lbs

pesticides & fertilizer avoided, compared to cotton

we’re committed to
creating positive impact,
globally and locally

As a B Corporation, Day Owl meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance. In addition to supporting dignified jobs around the world, we’re also creating meaningful opportunities right here at home. Based in Pittsburgh, we employ members of our community to help with product design, prototyping, repairs, and more - giving them the tools they need to build sustainable careers.

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Looking to make a difference?

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learn more with our blog

5 Ways You Helped us Get More Sustainable in 2020

(3 Minute Read)  What a weird year.

It's December, and while we like to think our recycled circular backpack future is so bright we're gonna need shades, the year has been DARK. With that in mind, after more than a few virtual cocktail hours, some online meditation classes, and more (terrible) sourdough baking than we care to mention, we've decided that when the wind blows, we should just raise our sail and ride this MFer out. That's why we are  dedicating a little time here to sharing the moments that kept us going this year.

Biff Tannen, Backpacks, and Five Minutes of Gratitude (Happy Thanksgiving)
(3 Minute Read)  I used to think that I would have been much more suited to a different time.  As a millennial raised on Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark, things seemed to be at once simpler and somehow more delightfully technicolor in 1885 or 1935 than they they were in1990s rural-suburbia Western PA where I grew up. In the old days, it seemed to me, villains were simple and easy to defeat in three acts over an hour and a half on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Like most other white males of my generation, it was also offered up to me directly and indirectly from all directions that I was special, and so I easily fancied myself a quick hero in the mold of Marty McFly or Indiana Jones. That feeling, as it turns out, isn't called heroism. It's called privilege.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Owl's Mission-Driven Gift Guide Is Here!
(5 Minute Read) With the holiday season just around the corner and family celebrations happening over Zoom, now more than ever we are eager to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. Gift giving can be overwhelming, not to mention a shameless ploy for overconsumption, so beyond the Day Owl backpack, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones while also having a positive impact.
Black Friday Is Terrible, Why We're Moving to a Circular Economy, and How Philadelphia is Responsible For It All
(3 Minute Read) The town that once threw batteries at Santa Claus also invented Black Friday.
(I Don't Know How, But) We Made it To November 4
(3 Minute Read) I suspect many of you breathed a giant sigh of relief this past weekend, finally taking your pads off after what felt like the most consequential election of our lives (so far).  A friend of mine said it best- "Last week was the longest year of my life." Preach.
Small Talk With Henry Kissinger
(3 Minute Read) In 2008, I stood in line to vote in front of Henry Kissinger...former Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and advisor to Richard Nixon and pretty much every president since, Henry Kissinger. The Great Recession and the potential election of our nation's first black president had already given the day a lot of weight, but I'll be damned if standing in front of a Nobel Prize recipient didn't raise the stakes for me. The man fled Nazi Germany to get to our voting precinct.  I walked from Dunkin' Donuts.
Why Ben Kander of Welly Bottles is the Nicest Founder I've Ever Met
(2 Minute Read) With Welly, we came for how great the water bottle is, but we stayed because of how great the team is.  Ben (the founder) is the type of person that immediately makes you feel like you've known him for 10 years. He feels like the kind of guy that invites strangers to Thanksgiving or fosters two-legged dogs.  Just a great guy. 
Why We're Voting For Joe Biden
(2 Minute Read) We're connected. All of us. We can't help it. That a virus spread so quickly between us is a reminder that we cannot escape one other, even though sometimes this year we've probably wanted to...