Monthly Archives: November 2013


PART IV Choosing the material

Pattern design… check! Now we set out to look for the right fabric. Of course we wanted it to be fair and organic. And can you believe it - a certified fabric supplier is based just a few kilometres away from us ;) So off we went to our new partner Lebenskleidung. There we chose a robust organic canvas fabric from India which is GOTS certified. In the picture above you can see Enrico, of Lebenskleidung, as he is shown the fair production conditions on his visit to India.

So the material was now found and we could finally cut out the pieces according to the pattern of the pattern design. The moment of truth had arrived. Would everything work out the way we imagined the EARTHBAG….?



PART III Designing the cut

Sooo, as we finally had seen our EARTHBAG – at least as a vision – making it all happen was the next step: The designing of the cut. Shame we didn’t have the CAD programmes anymore as we used to during our studies. But that wasn’t a problem. “Back to the roots!” is what we thought and got ourselves some paper, a tailor’s square, pencils and an eraser - and off we went…



I WANT MY EARTH BACK: Crowdfunding project for a more sustainable fashion

Berlin, 26th November 2013. The EARTHBAG, the “bag that makes a statement”, is launched today as the pilot project of EARTHBACK, a Berlin powerhouse of ideas. The EARTHBAG, developed by the designers Giang Phan and Bastian Baumann, is four bags in one: In a few easy steps it is turned from a rucksack into a handbag, a shoulder bag or a beach bag.

The production of the EARTHBAG is ecologically and socially conscious and fair and the 4-in-1 concept of the bag contributes to putting an end to the wasting of resources and materials. “When we developed the EARTHBAG we focussed on sustainability, design and functionality. With this product we take a first step towards fair production and away from rapid mass production”, says Giang Phan.

The EARTHBAG is the pilot project of the EARTHBACK company and it is financed through crowdfunding – Supporters of the project also have the advantage to receive a bag at reduced price as a thank you. The price covers the productions costs only.

The idea that lies behind the company’s concept is to offer a platform to creative minds, designers and free spirits for their own visions and thoughts.

“Financing the project through crowdfunding allows us to create different products as risk-free as possible for everyone involved. We do this since most good ideas fail because they are not translated into action”, says Michael Krieger, CEO at EARTHBACK, about the business model of the company.

The collaboration of the crowdfunding community Startnext and EARTHBACK allows the collection and analysis of empirical values. The results are then used to optimize the operation of the “stylefunding platform” of the company. This guarantees effective networking between designers, interest groups and certified producers. “Thus the term crowdfunding is given a new meaning. Thanks to this EARTHBAG campaign we have become pioneers working in the area of crowdfunding in Germany”, explains Michael Krieger.


EARTHBACK GmbH ( regards itself as an online platform for creatives, producers and supporters. The slogan I WANT MY EARTH BACK expresses the commitment of the Berlin based designers to sustainability and transparency in fashion. They want to contribute to making the earth a healthy place for future generations.

Toxic substances used for the cultivation of fabrics – detrimental effects on people and the environment

Why go for organic materials instead of, for example, conventionally grown cotton?

The basic question to be answered here is… how is the cotton for our clothing actually grown?

Cotton is grown in monocultures, meaning that nothing but cotton is grown in a particular area. About 2,000 litres of water are needed to produce a regular T-shirt, leaving out the amount of water used to dye the fabric later. Due to its long ripening period the cotton plant attracts pests and therefore has to be sprayed on with pesticides 20 to 25 times before the harvest. 24% of all insecticides and 11% of all pesticides are released then. As a result 150g of toxic substance per cotton T-shirt end up seeping into the field. The toxic substances do not only kill off the pests but also the useful insects. A vicious circle is created as consequently more pesticides are spread. The consequences are disastrous to humans and the environment.

  • The use of pesticides puts cotton farmers in high danger… Most agricultural workers are not informed about the risks involved in the use of pesticides and are exposed to them without escape. They work with toxic substances without any protective equipment… Accidents involving these toxic sprays lead to poisoning and even death. Since farmers need to spend more than half their proceeds on further pesticides or fertilisers, they are very reliant on their yield… Without any money no seed can be bought for the next season, interest cannot be paid back – as a last desperate resort many farmers decide to commit suicide!
  • Another dramatic effect concerns our environment: The Aral Sea in Uzbekistan, formerly 66,900 km2 large, serves as an example of this. The heavy cotton cultivation and the consequently high water consumption as well as the tremendous use of fertilisers and pesticides has led the lake to decrease in size which is now less than 20,000 km2. This means the lake has lost more than 80% of its original water volume! Biologically the lake is practically dead. The consequences for the regions around the lake are: Salinised and spoiled soils, the population suffers due to polluted drinking water and poisoned food as well as from epidemic diseases, cancer and physical deformities of newborn babies.


Is it fair that people and our environment make such sacrifices for mass-produced fashion? EARTHBACK says NO!


PART II: The first sketch of the EARTHBAG

We wanted even more functionality to invent a product for everyday life. It wasn’t enough for us to create a bag with mechanisms to modify its size. We wanted to add something more! And after long consideration of further useful functions we came to a conclusion on our way to our next creativity session. Because we noticed actually that a common cotton jute bag is not very handy while riding a bike ;) Carrying a rucksack would be much more convenient.

So the features of the EARTHBAG were now clear to us. But how will be bring all the components together now?

Nothing to fear for an engineer… See for yourselves :)




It all began with a brainstorming and drawing a few sketches. It was supposed to be a bag, yes – but we also wanted something special. To enlarge a bag with the help of zips is a cool idea but nothing new. The goal was set, now we had to take our first steps in that direction. First of all it was all about the shape – so it was all about the question what we wanted our finished product to look like. Round? Square? Box-like? Or all of that in a mix?

We were mainly inspired by the common cotton jute bags and gym sacks. So we neither wanted to develop a classic women’s handbag nor a leather travel bag but instead a unisex product for everyday life.

Here you can see our first designs and sketches.



Dear EARTHBACKERS, prick up your ears please!

You now have the chance to get a backstage view. On our long way to the finished EARTHBAG we have put together quite a lot of pictures and video material and would like to share our journey and growth with you (a little belated ;)).

We’re going to show you exciting stages on our way to the finished EARTHBAG. Beginning with the first prototypes over to choosing the material and our suppliers as well as our journeys through Berlin. It’s going to be exciting so stay tuned and follow the whole EARTHBAG story on


Eco fashion today

So what is the state of eco fashion today?

At last … Today’s high eco fashion has said goodbye to its cotton bag image. Green fashion can finally be up-to-date, trendy and ecologically and socially responsible at the same time… Fairs have contributed largely to this development like the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin for example

and the Green Showroom

These fairs take place twice a year as part of the Berlin Fashion Week and are firmly established there. They allow established and new sustainable labels for high end fashion and accessories to present themselves.

We can finally say that some things are about to be change in our society … a new way of thinking is coming about. In this day and age sustainability and fair trade have become standard topics present in our minds. Media reports on the conditions at production sites and the exploitation of workers in countries with a low-wage economy add to the fact that consumers cannot turn a blind eye to such ills anymore. By now many consumers have changed their way of thinking in such way that they focus on ecological questions. But we cannot stop there… We now have to act! The inhumane working conditions in countries with cheap labour economies and the irresponsible treatment of the environment are not the only issues. The health risks, that result from the use of chemicals and that we are exposed to as consumers, should really make us think and get into alternative buying habits! Thanks to the “green fashion wave” there are alternatives, just look around  :)

We at EARTHBACK wish our society and the coming generations that sustainability will become more and more part of our everyday lives – everyone needs to get up to make this happen. Everyone can get involved to prevent our planet from being ruined by industry and instead help preserve the living environment of animals and a balanced ecosystem – and all this while everyone can still be well-dressed and look great ;-)

Join the fashion revolution…


EARTHBAG – the first crowdfunding project


Last Friday we got started… and kicked off our crowdfunding project with Giang and Bastian on Startnext. Within 8 hours we received all the likes we needed, fab! We owe this all to you, thank you!

Now we’re on to the “financing stage” and our aim is to raise the funding sum that finances the production of the bag. We’ve raised more than 3,500 € so far.

Until 15/12/2013 you can help Giang and Bastian make this great project happen and contribute to making the world a greener place!

Just come along ;) and support a good cause!



A big thank you to all supporters! You’re amazing!