We’re all Day Owls.
We (with your help) are building the first completely circular bag company. We build our products from recycled landfill-bound materials, we repair and refurbish them to keep them in circulation for multiple owners, and when they're used up, we make sure they become input materials for new bags. This work, and every solution to the environmental crisis, begins and ends with respecting people. It's difficult and we're not perfect, but we begin each day working to cultivate a healthier planet and empower people.
A Day Owl product begins when a waste collector in the First Mile picks up a piece of plastic. These men and women are the last line of defense in saving waste from landfills and the ocean but are mostly ignored, especially by our counterparts who don’t like the “risk” associated with these communities. First Mile estimates that over 100 million people globally make their living from what many people would consider trash. We invest in the humans in our supply chain that the rest of our industry ignores.
We create our products by reclaiming what others consider waste, but we’re working hard to reduce our own. Our counterparts in the fashion industry never sell about 30% of the stuff they make, which means over 92 Million tons of textiles end up buried or burned every year. To reduce excess, we buy our inventory with no extra “padding” in our orders, and we sell all of our factory Misfits. We also offer lifelong repairs, and encourage you to trade-in your old bag when you’re ready for an upgrade.
What’s more sustainable than a recycled backpack? Reusing those that already exist. We take ALL of our bags back (seriously, send your old bag to us, we’ll give you a deal on a replacement and find it a home!) Then we refresh them as needed, and pass them and the stories you created wearing them onto a new owner. It’s how we ensure the circle continues, your story lives on, and our super useful bags stay super useful.
Plastic takes about 450 years to decompose, so we’re advocating for an end to single-use plastics and call on all companies that produce it to stop. That said, of the 8.3 Billion tons of plastic ever produced, 6.3 Billion tons have not been recycled, so that still leaves a massive mess. While it’s still here, we figure we’ll turn it into something functional and beautiful, like our bags. Made from 100% recycled textiles, even our “new” bags aren’t new.
In March 2010, Ian met Marc Noel in Haiti for the first time. In Haiti he saw a lot of waste and not alot of jobs to go around for people like Marc Noel. He also learned that plastic bottles can be transformed into fabric. In his notebook, he wrote, if haiti could turn trash into $ = good. These words continue to guide our project today. Day Owl operates in the company of our sister organization First Mile and is strategic partners with the not-for-profit organization WORK. Take a look at our blog to see our work in action.
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.