What is dear to us

Sustainability

Our environment is of great importance to all of us. That is why our products are made of 100% PET recycled fabrics. Like this plastic waste gets a new purpose and natural resources are saved.

From Bottle to Bag
1
1. PET bottles are collected & sorted

The empty PET plastic bottles are collected and taken to a recycling plant. Once there, the clear bottles are selected to undergo recycling.

2
2. The bottles are crushed & washed

The bottles are crushed into PET flakes. These are then washed in a water bath.

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3. Pellets are made

The PET flakes are melted down and mixed thoroughly. The hot mass is then formed into thick fibers that are cut into 3 mm pellets.

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4. The thread is spun

The pellets are melted again, drawn into long fibers and spun into thread. The finished thread is wound onto spools and transported to the weaving mill.

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5. The fabric is woven & printed

Weaving
The thread is placed in sophisticated weaving machines and woven into white lengths of fabric.

Printing
Patterns are then printed onto the lengths of fabric and both sides are coated to make the fabric water-repellent.

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6. The product is made

Cutting
The fabric is then cut to sewing patterns. These patterns are laid out so that the fabric is used efficiently. No usable fabric scraps are used for padding.

Sewing
The fabric pieces cut from the patterns are then used to sew our wonderful product.

What we have already achieved

PET-Flasche
Approx. 24 million PET bottles got a new usage purpose.
Oelfass
Thereby, 1.952 oil barrels (310.343 Liter),
Badewanne
399.061 bathtubs of water (55.869 m3)
Heißluftballon
and 206 hot air balloons of CO2 (1.214 t) were saved. *
* Numbers up to and including August 2016
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Saving Natural Resources

By recycling PET bottles to textiles, plastic waste finds a new purpose. This reduces the consumption of natural, non-renewable resources. We keep a close eye on the process so that no empty bottles from Europe need to be shipped to Asia, which would effect the environment negatively.

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A Resource-efficient Production

The suppliers of our fabrics and buckles are bluesign® Systempartner. This means that not only the raw materials used are "clean", but also their production is environmentally friendly.

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Free of Pollutants

The fabrics and materials we use are clean of toxic plasticizers (phthalates) or PAHs (polycyclical aromatic hydrocarbons). We are able to warrant this fact, as we supervise the whole purchasing chain and have a direct contact to all of the suppliers.

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Ethical Working Conditions

Our producers are not only partners but also friends who know our values, and because of our close ties they can act accordingly. Quality, safety and fairness are our top priorities.

Our Production & Sewing Shops

The sewing phase is the very heart of our production. Our backpacks are real handicrafts: each product is processed by the hands of many skilled sewers, before it amazes the pupils all over the world.
Blog entries about Sustainability The ergobag blog

From our Blog

How a PET bottle is transformed into a backpack?

Nachhaltigkeit

All ergobag backpacks are produced with materials made entirely from recycled PET bottles. But how are such bottles made into the material for a school backpack?

Sustainable, more sustainable, ergobag

What actually happens to empty PET bottles? In Germany we have the deposit system – we take our empty bottles back to the shop where they are crushed in the machine and then reprocessed. In countries with no deposit system, however, they land in the trash or even in the sea! We care very much about our environment so we thought why don't we simply have the materials for our school backpacks made from PET bottles? No sooner said than done: PET bottles are collected, recycled and processed into textiles for backpacks. So the trash is turned back to account – in 2012 a new use was found for over 15 million bottles in this way, making a contribution to the reduction of global environmental pollution.

From bottle to bag

But how is a plastic bottle turned into the material to make a school backpack? Well, the PET bottles are collected, washed and made into small pellets of more or less the same size. The PET pellets are melted down so that the resulting twine will be of an even consistency. Now it can be made into a thread which is wound onto a bobbin and then used to weave the fabric! The next step is to apply the colors and patterns to the finished fabric. The pattern produced by our designer crew has been printed on paper first. Two heated rollers, one covered with the fabric and the other with the paper, then press down and apply the design. The big rolls of fabric then go to the cutting section.

Good in more ways than one

There is another advantage in working with used PET bottles in that their reprocessing is already conserving our natural resources during the production process because of the reduced consumption of water and the decrease in CO2 emissions. So this also saves unnecessary impact on the environment in the manufacturing process. The reprocessing of PET in the production process (upcycling) also means a reduction in the consumption of non-renewable resources in that less crude oil is used for the backpack production. So PET recycling is good in two ways: there is less trash in the environment and a lower consumption of natural resources in its reprocessing to the finished backpack. Bags at the ready... steady... go!