project BLUE is an initiative by seven of the leading and competitive brands in surfing, who have come together to develop a co-branded, limited edition product line where part of the proceeds (about $2 per item, depending on the item) goes to the non-profit Surfrider Foundation. The goal is to give surfers and beach lovers an easy way to plug into Surfrider’s mission to protect the oceans and beaches.
The brands involved are Billabong, DAKINE, Electric, Famous Wax, Nixon, O’Neill and Reef. The rationale with project BLUE isn’t to get people to buy more t-shirts or backpacks, but rather when their t-shirt or backpack needs replacing, to choose one from the project BLUE initiative.
I was sent the cool looking backpack by DAKINE. Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles (or Polyethylene Terephthalate – PET) is also uses recycled buckles (by Rock Lockster) and non-toxic waterproof fabric for the backing. Even the label is printed on recycled paper.
It’s a very expensive backpack but is a “professional” backpack with a variety of purposeful pockets:
– Seam sealed wetsuit pocket;
– Organizer pocket;
– Cooler pocket;
– Fleece lined sunglasses pocket;
– Tarp wax pocket.
Not sure what the last one is for but it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It weighs 2lbs, has a 31L capacity (1900 cubic inches if you’re counting) and is 20x13x8″. Essentially that means it’s a fine size, bigger (well, taller) than other backpacks I own and comes it really useful on hikes though I imagine it would be great for going the beach too. I haven’t made it that far yet. It’s design is pretty funky and the inside is unsurprisingly blue, and the variety or pockets really do come in useful. So unused to a specific sunglasses pocket I thought I had lost my pair until I remembered the special place for them.
Here’s a rundown of the other project BLUE partners and what they have to offer:
Billabong: Their Super Sonic boardshorts, made using the company’s Eco-Supreme Suede fabric, which is made entirely of recycled textiles and plastic soda bottles. To date, more than three million plastic bottles have gone on to become Eco Supreme Suede fabric.
Electric: All of Electric’s polarized sunglasses will fall under the project BLUE initiative in 2009. They’ll be shipped in packaging made from recycled materials, with printing using soy based inks.
Famous Wax: Petrochemical free surf-wax and the Eco-Timmy Curran pro-model traction pad, made from 40 percent recycled foam.
Reef: The Redemption Fanning sandal for men, it features a sole made from recycled car tires, in addition to incorporating other eco-friendly elements into its construction.
Nixon: A special edition of their Lodown tide watch, with the tides of 200 beaches around the world.
O’Neill: Collection of organic cotton t’s and hoodies, printed using soy-based inks, for both men and women.
You can buy the bag from project BLUE or at other online stores like eBags.