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Socially Responsible State Bags: Buy One, Give One

by Elke Erschfeld

In today’s digital age, most of us carry a laptop to work. Until a few weeks ago, I always used a tote for my MacBook Pro since it seemed to look more professional than a backpack. But the daily weight took a toll on my right shoulder and lower back. It was time to switch to a backpack. Ideally, I was looking for a backpack that’s either made of recycled materials or connected to a good cause.
My search inevitably led me to the socially conscious State Bags. The Brooklyn-based company has a similar business model to Toms shoes and Warby Parker sunglasses with their “buy one, give one“ philosophy. For every bag sold, State Bags hand delivers a backpack filled with essential school supplies to an American child in need.
What’s different about State Bags’ approach is that the company aims to make a difference in their local neighborhoods through organizing events called “Bag Drop Rallies.” During these events, State Bags sends child development specialists to schools, children’s hospitals and homeless shelters as role models to entertain and inspire.
In terms of design and functionality, the Union by State Bags checked all my boxes. I was looking for a backpack that looks contemporary, with clean lines. In addition, it should accommodate my laptop and ideally be water resistant. Every workday, I walk about 4 miles round trip and I get caught in the rain quite a bit. The Union backpack has a large main storage compartment with a 15” padded laptop sleeve pocket and a front stash pocket. It’s made of water resistant, 100 percent polyester spun cordura and roomy enough to carry my lunch, sweater and a small umbrella.
Other models by State Bags range from the colorful and smaller- than-your-average-school-backpack Kane, to the versatile Ashton. The latter is a tote and single strap shoulder bag in one. What all of them have in common is that every bag purchased has a positive impact on somebody else’s life.

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