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With Timbuk2’s 'Life Cycle,' Customers Can Reuse, Repair, Recycle and Reimagine Its Products

Image credit: Timbuk2

San Francisco-based Timbuk2, famous for its ubiquitous messenger bags, has launched the Timbuk2 Life Cycle — a robust environmental responsibility program to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and reimagine Timbuk2 bags — in partnership with yerdle, iFixit, and Terracycle.

The company has also added a full-time tailor to implement the ‘repair’ aspect of the program.

“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,” said Timbuk2 brand director Lizzy Fallows. “Life Cycle has led to the development of new meaningful partnerships with yerdle, iFixit, and Terra Cycle, and a new full-time hire of a repairs sewer in our San Francisco factory. It's the program we're most proud of and we hope our customers find it both useful and inspiring.”

The Timbuk2 Life Cycle’s five pillars:

  • Reduce: Timbuk2 encourages customers to invest in things that last. All Timbuk2 bags have a lifetime warranty and Timbuk2 stands behind the legendary quality and craftsmanship.
  • Reuse: Timbuk2 now has two ways to help customers find new homes for their used bags:
    • DIY — Timbuk2 partners with yerdle, an online community where people give and get things for free. On yerdle, people give away durable goods they no longer need, such as camping gear, kitchen tools, electronics and toys. By giving something away, you earn points then use your points to get something you want.
    • Let Timbuk2 Do It — Send Timbuk2 any unwanted bags and the company will find it a new home via a local nonprofit partner and give the customer 30 percent off their next Timbuk2 purchase through April 2014, and 20 percent thereafter.
  • Repair: Timbuk2 now offers repairs to keep their bags working for the long haul:
    • DIY — Timbuk2 launches new fix-it manuals and replacement parts for customers to repair their bag.
    • Let Timbuk2 Do It — Customers can now send their damaged bags to Timbuk2’s new full-time tailor dedicated to repairing products.
  • Recycle: Customers can now send Timbuk2 any unwanted bags and they will recycle it via new partner Terracycle, and will give 30 percent off the next Timbuk2 purchase through April 2014 and 20 percent thereafter.
  • Reimagine: Timbuk2 now provides inspiration to create something entirely new out of a Timbuk2 bag.

Timbuk2's Life Cycle program was inspired by Patagonia's Common Threads Partnership. As Fallows explains, "Patagonia educated us about the 5 R’s of their Common Threads Partnership and encouraged us to use a similar structure for our Life Cycle program. Their mentorship and generosity developing, testing, and launching our program was invaluable. Patagonia really walks the talk, and we look forward to furthering the cause of their Common Threads Partnership through our Life Cycle initiatives."

Timbuk2 has also partnered with TerraCycle to debut two new messenger bags created from discarded US Postal Service bags. The upcycled messenger bags are available in brown and white in two sizes for purchase for $99 (Small) and $109 (Medium).


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]