Local Cape based innovators, Mike Schlebach and Jasper Eales, over at Sealand Gear, have just rewritten the rules of the “up-cycling” game.
Having produced a range of some of the strongest, most durable and eye-catching bags for a while now, they’ve recently launched into recycled hyperspace with their latest addition: The Hero.
Created using an environmentally responsible fabric, made from a high quality blend of up-cycled Cotton and post-consumer recycled PET bottles (pretty rad, hey) which Sealand has developed and registered as Recover ®, this offering is the multi-tool of urban and outdoor adventure utility bags.
Quite a claim? Sure, so we decided to look between the stitching and put a magnifying glass on the copy found on their newly launched Kickstarter campaign site. “The Hero travel bag allows dual use either as a backpack, or simply store your straps away, and use it as a straight forward duffel bag. There’s storage space for shoes or dirty laundry, a side pouch for valuables and an outside sleeve for Laptops.”
Sold? Ja, so are we. We also love local surfers producing great work, so, we decided to sit down with Sealand Gear co-founder and designer, Jasper Eales, to get the lowdown.
Roll the Bones: Jasper, give us some background on the development of The Hero?
Jasper Eales: The Hero Bag style bag has been on our radar for sometime. The desire for an ultimate travel bag is something so many people search for and it was time for Sealand to create its unique version. Multi-functionality, durability, usability and refined design were all considered in the creative process of the Hero bag. I cant wait to see others engage with this bag when it comes to market later this year. Make sure to get involved in our kickstarter project to be the first to receive your very own Hero bag at a great price of 40% discount.
RTB: This is high-end gear. Give us an idea of your target market?
JE: We prefer to see it as quality gear rather than high-end gear, as we create product that is made to last, which isn’t necessarily the cheapest way of doing something, but rather the right way to do it. The audience we speak to is quite unisex, however slightly more weighted to the male, between the ages of 25 – 65 years of age. Our offering is really diverse which allows us to speak to such a wide audience.
RTB: The durability of Sealand Gear’s products is becoming legendary, tell us a bit about the Recover® material and how it holds up?
JE: I’m really pleased that you asked this question, as longevity, durability and sustainability are core factors of what we stand for in our environmentally responsible business journey. Recover® is an incredible material made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles and upcycled cotton waste. Its made in a facility that uses ZERO WATER, PRODUCES ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS, REQUIRES NO CHEMICAL DIES, AND IS PRODUCED BY MORE THAN 50% GREEN ENERGY. The material is super strong and is combined with our durable Ripstop base and upcycled advertising banner inner lining.
RTB: Sealand Gear bravely expanded into Europe quite recently. How have you found the response to the brand and to the products?
JE: This has been a major focus of ours for the past 18 months, and is beginning to take shape. Taking an unknown brand to a foreign place is no easy task, however over time we have made some fantastic contacts over there, who are truly aiding the recognition we deserve. We are now stoking Sealand Gear in 5 countries namely RSA, UK, NZ, Japan, Germany, and soon to be represented in a few more. Our online store is seeing growth all the time as we ship products all over the world from sunny Cape Town.
RTB: This may sound like a stupid question but why do you need a Kickstarter Campaign?
JE: Kickstarter is an incredible platform to generate pre sales on a new product release. At the same time its an awesome marketing opportunity to share a new product/brand with a massive community of followers (27 million in total). A successfully run project on Kickstarter can bring many new followers and WS accounts to a brand, as well as indicate honest feedback from a large group of people whether or not you have a good product with potential. For us, it’s a combination of all the above.
RTB: Thanks for your time Jabba and we’ll look out for our Hero in the post!
JE: Shot so much, my bru!
To support the Sealand Gear team click here for the Kickstarter campaign.