Bespoke, customised bag company Timbuk2 is branching into the Australian market after experiencing widespread success across the globe with their sustainable, savvy and functional bags for urbanites.
Founded 27 years ago by bike messenger Rob Honeycutt in a garage in San Francisco’s Mission District, Timbuk2 today continues to be driven by its founding values and the intersection of originality, style and functionality.
Since its inception in 1989, Timbuk2 has been designing quality bags, packs and accessories for city-dwellers and travellers that are meant to look good whilst ‘outsmarting’ our busy city lives with unbeatable functionality.
Today, the company is driven by these founding values, but enhanced with a modern twist, becoming an industry-leader in sustainable manufacturing after branching into Europe and Asia and with 20 per cent of their sales being international.
Patti Cazzato, CEO of Timbuk2 told Retailbiz that it’s this founding ethos of the brand that has driven its global success.
“We really wanted to make sure the expansion was in line with the original vision and I think that you can’t buy authenticity, it’s something the customer really can feel when they walk into our stores or go into our website.”
Today, the company is driven by three core pillars, Ms Cazzato said – style, intuitive function and future shaping.
“The first pillar is individual style, so giving our customers a canvass for self-expression. The second pillar, intuitive function, is really about coming up with solutions and problem solving for city dwellers using innovation in products. The third pillar, future shaping, reflects our responsibility to our city to make sure we continue to manufacture in San Francisco.”
Now, in its 25th anniversary year, Timbuk2 is bringing this knack for urban mobility, individuality, and social responsibility to the Australian market with an online store and first-ever Melbourne-based in-store bag customizer on Little Collins Street.
The brand is celebrating the opening with a Break Up With Your Bag initiative enabling customers to bring in any bag and allow Timbuk2 to donate the bag to a local charity or recycling centre, and receive 20% off in-store purchase in return.
The initiative is one of a number of sustainable initiatives driven by Timbuk2, with the company achieving incredible sustainability targets under Ms Cazzato’s helm with zero Timbuk2 bags ending up in landfill and more than 15,000 bags repurposed.
“We have the Timbuk2 lifecycle program, which was founded in 2014 and it’s really our commitment to making sure we can reuse and recycle any of our bags and since this program we have zero scraps that go to landfill and we use everything from start to finish.”
For the past 12 years the company has also been repairing bags, or if the customer doesn’t want the item repaired, the company donates it to a local charity or factory to be recycled or decomposed.
And today the brand is continuing to pave new ground with innovative products, with Ms Cazzato looking to focus on both the brand’s female line, and the travel collection, after customers expressed a desire for more travel products.
“We’re really focused on our female customers so I would say there’s a lot of movement there. For us it’s really about breaking the status quo. I’m really focused on making sure there’s something for everyone.”