Ocean Impact Plastic, in our classification, encompasses plastic waste that has been improperly disposed of due to inadequate waste management systems. This plastic is either already adrift in the ocean or found in coastal ecosystems, posing a risk of entering the oceans. Our team intercepts this plastic before it further endangers the environment, particularly marine ecosystems, and threatens vital habitats. Since all plastics are collected manually and are influenced by tides and currents in the region of our clean-up program, the composition of Ocean Impact Plastic varies significantly.
Ocean Impact Plastic includes actively collected plastic from the ocean, including mangrove regions, coastal areas, and delta regions of local rivers, coastal waters, and villages. In areas lacking functional waste management systems, local residents can conveniently deposit their plastic waste directly at our collection points after use.
The founders of GOT BAG, deeply connected to the ocean since childhood, were driven to address the escalating plastic pollution in the seas. A backpack emerged as the perfect symbol for the collective responsibility we share in preserving water quality for future generations of flora and fauna. Although the concept originated serendipitously, it aligned seamlessly with the durability, robustness, and ease of cleaning that backpacks offer. Over time, GOT BAG's employees and customers embraced not only the initial idea but also the functional backpacks, appreciating their minimalist and timeless design. The ROLLTOP, in particular, has become the brand's versatile favorite.
We are dedicated to ridding the oceans of plastic waste. That's why our clean-up initiatives go beyond merely collecting easily recyclable items like PET bottles; we gather plastic in all its forms. In Indonesia, we've established our own clean-up program, enlisting the help of local fishers, collectors, and organizations. Together, we actively retrieve plastic from both the ocean and the surrounding environment, including mangrove areas, delta regions, rivers, and nearshore waters. By addressing plastic pollution on land and in fisher villages, we prevent it from entering the ocean in the first place. This approach allows us to cover extensive areas, starting from the coast, and significantly reduce plastic's impact on our oceans.
Empowering local communities with the opportunity to recycle and establishing fundamental waste management systems, we proactively prevent improper plastic disposal from endangering our oceans. Through these efforts, we witness tangible transformations: beaches become pristine, waste turns into recyclable material, and the environmental consciousness of everyone involved grows. Our close collaboration with local authorities strengthens our impact, as they endorse our initiatives and partner with us to devise sustainable waste reduction strategies.
Most significantly, our work serves as a model, demonstrating how organizations can craft high-quality products from recycled materials while simultaneously bettering our environment. This pioneering approach, we believe, will stimulate societal and political shifts. To cultivate this change in mindset, we require the participation of various stakeholders – politicians, legislation, NGOs, and a multitude of individuals committed to addressing this challenge. Together, we can pave the way toward a more sustainable future.
We believe in the interdependence of sustainable development and a robust economy. Utilizing our platform, we gather supporters for our mission. Although we can't eradicate the immense plastic waste already in the oceans, each cleanup project, no matter how small compared to the millions of tons entering yearly, signifies an opportunity. Every plastic cup and bottle collected represents a chance to safeguard marine habitats and wildlife.
Research on ocean plastic is still in its early stages, but our work and production techniques are progressing rapidly. Our clean-up program is informed by scientific findings, including those of oceanologist Erik Van Sebille, who tracks ocean plastic movements over time. He illustrates how plastic moves along coasts and through different environments, posing threats at various stages: Erik Van Sebille's research.
Determining the profitability of recycled plastic remains challenging due to ongoing research and evolving industry practices. Local conditions, weather, and social factors significantly impact the process. Large-scale productions relying solely on ocean plastic might face challenges in maintaining consistent quality. In processing Ocean Impact Plastic, we anticipate fluctuations in yarn quality, leading to a higher failure rate.
We prioritize thorough cleaning, pre-sorting, and continuous optimization of processing parameters over using new plastics or chemical additives. While our products may exhibit minor differences in material structure, we maintain our commitment to using recycled plastic without compromising environmental integrity.
We are a global organization with operations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Our main facility in the U.S. is located in Beaverton, Oregon, and our European Headquarters is in Mainz, southwest Germany. Additionally, we have branches in Denver, Colorado, and Toronto, Ontario.
While we don't have our own stores at the moment, our products are available for viewing and purchase through our official retail partners. For specific locations, please visit our Store Locator.
We know that our products have a lower impact on CO2 emissions, water usage, and biodiversity compared to conventional backpacks due to our use of recycled materials and a durable, timeless design.
However, this knowledge is yet to be scientifically proven through a comprehensive life cycle assessment. Conducting such an assessment for globally operating companies with complex value chains is challenging, requiring substantial resources, particularly for our production partners. Despite these challenges, we initiated an analysis for our ROLLTOP in June. We aim to present preliminary results by the end of the year.
You can find all our recent collaborations here. There, we provide detailed insights into why we've chosen to partner with each organization and outline the nature of our collaborations.
Our inaugural self-built clean-up initiative operates on the Indonesian island of Java, specifically in Demak, Jepara, and Bantul. Positioned at the confluence of multiple rivers carrying substantial plastic waste from inland areas to the ocean, this program intercepts plastic both from river flows and atmospheric sources, minimizing contamination and decomposition of the collected waste.
Indonesia generates over three million tons of plastic waste annually, with approximately one-third of it eventually reaching the ocean. With up to 1.29 million tons of new ocean plastic entering the waters each year, Indonesia ranks second globally in plastic emissions, following China. Addressing this issue directly in Indonesia is crucial for creating significant positive change. Moreover, we've established partnerships in the country to handle the plastic recycling process, converting it into pellets through advanced technology. Additionally, we've collaborated with local organizations to repurpose plastics that don't meet our product standards, creating new items or generating thermal energy.
We are actively pursuing certifications that reinforce our sustainable practices and deep commitment to the environment. These certifications serve as external validation, demonstrating our dedication to our promises and our continuous efforts to improve.
B Corp™ Certification
Being a B Corp™ means we're part of a global community of businesses held to high standards of social and environmental impact. The B Corp movement is dedicated to transforming our economic system for the betterment of all stakeholders – workers, communities, customers, and our planet. You can view our score [here](link to score).
Our products proudly bear the PETA-Approved Vegan certification. We are steadfast in our commitment to exclude any animal or animal-derived components from our production processes, ensuring our products are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
With our pioneering clean-up initiative in Demak, we became the world's first backpack manufacturer to actively collect and process plastic from the ocean in 2018. Based on our ground-level clean-up experiences and current assessments, we believe that preventing improperly disposed plastic waste in the first place holds just as much promise in combating ocean plastic pollution.
By offering local communities direct opportunities for recycling and establishing essential waste management infrastructures, we proactively address the issue of improperly disposed plastic waste that poses a long-term threat to the ocean. Through these efforts, we create tangible benefits: cleaner beaches, transformed waste into a recyclable resource, and improved environmental awareness among all participants. This collaborative approach extends to our partnership with local authorities, who endorse and collaborate with us to develop enduring solutions for waste reduction and disposal.
As we expand our production and, consequently, our clean-up efforts, we are now capable of collecting more plastic than required for our own products. Despite the time-consuming and costly nature of the collection process, our commitment to combating ocean plastic pollution remains steadfast.
We have been documenting the progress of our clean-up program in Indonesia together with the Berlin-based start-up “Cleanhub" in order to transparently disclose the amount of plastic collected as well as its composition and to be able to report its exact origin in a timely manner.
So far, we have been able to collect and recycle over 2,000,000 lbs of Ocean Impact Plastic.
PET (e.g. plastic bottles): 10-15% -can be used for the textile of our products
PP (e.g. packaging film) : just under 5%
HDPE (e.g. plastic bags): significantly less than 5% - but difficult to identify
LDPE/LLDPE (e.g. plastic bags): 15-20%
Mixed: about 55% (foil and plastic bag residues, various polyethylene variants, polycarbonates, polystyrene, polypropylene and containers without marking, as well as only about 20% composite materials – for example sachets for shampoo or ketchup – which are particularly difficult to recycle due to the aluminum coating)
Buckets and pipes: about 5% (probably PVC, but also without marking)
At the heart of our philosophy lies a holistic approach to combating ocean plastic pollution: all types of Ocean Impact Plastic collected at our designated points undergo specialized recycling processes. Right from the start, our focus has been on finding innovative ways to reuse not just valuable PET but also all other materials retrieved. In Indonesia, we've established partnerships with organizations capable of finding suitable applications for various plastic types, extending beyond PET. These materials, including PP, HDPE, LDPE, PS, and PVC, are directed to local companies equipped with appropriate recycling solutions. Through mechanical processing, these materials are transformed back into new items.
Composite materials, often challenging to recycle due to coatings and adhesives, constitute a significant portion of residual materials. Historically, we have utilized them as an energy source, an eco-friendly alternative to burning fossil fuels, thereby contributing to our sustainable energy initiatives.
In our product textile production, approximately 10-15% of the Ocean Impact Plastics we collect are PET plastics. We have successfully identified recyclers for various plastic types, repurposing them into new products or utilizing them for heat generation. However, composites, such as mixtures with coatings or adhesives, pose a unique challenge. Currently, these 'residual materials' can only be stored or used for heat and energy generation, serving as an alternative to fossil fuels.
To address this challenge, we've partnered with the Berlin-based startup Cleanhub. Through this collaboration, we sell the residual materials from our Ocean Impact Plastics to Indocement, a subsidiary of German Heidelberg Cement AG. These materials include film and plastic bag remnants, sachets for items like shampoo or ketchup, and other composite materials that cannot be processed into other products due to their aluminum coating, for instance. Indocement uses these materials to generate energy. Cleanhub issues certificates to third-party companies, enabling them to finance thermal recycling with Indocement and offset their plastic consumption. This partnership not only supports our clean-up efforts but also ensures transparent documentation of our plastic recovery performance.
Our partner organization, GOT BAG Indonesia, plays a central role in coordinating our plastic collection initiatives in Demak, Indonesia. Within our dedicated warehouse, plastic waste is meticulously sorted, processed, and compressed. All recyclable plastics are then transported to regional recycling partners affiliated with GOT BAG Indonesia. Moreover, the foundation takes charge of educational initiatives, raising awareness about the perils of plastic pollution within local schools.
Since September 2022, the foundation has seamlessly continued the initiatives previously overseen by the Rumah Ilham organization. We maintain constant communication with the six dedicated staff members of GOT BAG Indonesia, ensuring a collaborative and impactful effort. Our Clean-up Manager, Leonie, visits the site several times a year, fostering direct engagement with our Indonesian team and strategizing for upcoming projects.
Symbolically, our products represent the essence of clean oceans and responsible plastic usage. We not only collect Ocean Impact Plastic for recycling into our travel and everyday companions but also ensure that plastics unsuitable for our products are appropriately recycled, preventing them from re-entering the ocean. Together with our customers, we actively contribute to this effort. Embracing the vision of a circular economy, our backpacks are predominantly crafted from recycled materials, emphasizing durability and a timeless, minimalist design. Alongside our two-year warranty, we offer a spare parts service and actively promote the concept of product longevity. We encourage a collective awareness, fostering change through our clean-up programs, collaborations with local authorities in Indonesia, and inspiring individuals to unite for a meaningful impact. Let's create change together.
Yes, our products are now officially certified as PETA-Approved Vegan. We are committed to not using any animals or animal products as components in the production and processes of our products.
In our continuous pursuit of sustainability, we utilize Ocean Impact Plastic for our textiles and primarily rely on recycled plastics for crafting our bags and backpacks. While we've made substantial progress, certain components like zippers, buttons, and specific padding elements still necessitate virgin plastics due to the challenge of finding recycled alternatives meeting our stringent quality and ecological standards. We're actively collaborating with local partners to source high-quality recycled materials for these components. Currently, our bags and backpacks incorporate the following materials: Mesh fabric – rPET & PET (Recycled Polyester & Polyester). Padding (varies by model) – PE (polyethylene), EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), or PU (polyurethane). Straps – rPET (Recycled Polyester).
Our commitment to using Ocean Impact Plastic extends to the entire textile of our GOT BAGs, although the percentage in the final product varies by model. This variation is due to components like buckles, zippers, straps, and padding foams, which contribute significantly to the weight based on their design. You can find specific weight percentages for these parts on our table or the respective product page on our webshop. While we prioritize recycled polyester (rPET) for these components, our ongoing efforts involve transitioning them to Ocean Impact Plastic as well. As experts in yarn production, we actively seek partners to support this initiative and continue our progress.
By choosing our stainless steel thermos bottle, shirts, and sweaters, products not crafted from Ocean Impact Plastic, customers indirectly bolster our Indonesian clean-up program. Each purchase aids in enhancing the local infrastructure at our Indonesian clean-up site, fostering the creation of structures vital for establishing a sustainable waste management system in the long run. Your support transcends individual products, contributing to our larger mission of ocean preservation.
All our fabrics are backed with a waterproof PU or TPU coating and treated on the outside with either PU or DWR (Durable Water Repellency) for enhanced water resistance and stain repellency. We ensure all materials used are free from PVC and PFC. As our products are crafted from recycled materials, slight variations in texture and color may occur. This is not indicative of inferior quality but a natural outcome of using recycled Ocean Impact Plastic in our production. However, our goal is to deliver flawless products, and we diligently work to rectify minor imperfections in the material structure. Any unevenness can be easily addressed at home with a damp microfiber cloth.
All GOT BAGs are crafted from an exceptionally robust 600D recycled polyester yarn, made entirely from 100% Ocean Impact Plastic. Our fabrics are meticulously designed with a waterproof PU or TPU coating on the inside and further enhanced with a water- and dirt-repellent PU coating or DWR (durable water repellency) impregnation on the outside. Rest assured, all materials used are PVC and PFC-free.
We employ two different techniques in fabricating our products: ROLLTOPS and WEEKENDERs are customized from TPU and PU-coated material using high-frequency welding. This method creates waterproof seams with the same tear strength as the fabric itself, ensuring the entire product is exceptionally robust and waterproof. The fabric boasts a water column exceeding 20,000 mm, safeguarding its contents from rain and various weather conditions, provided the opening is tightly rolled up and sealed.
For other products like DAYPACKs and HIP BAGs, we utilize special sewing machines. The material is PU-coated on the back and treated with DWR on the front, offering a water column of at least 1,500 mm. Thanks to DWR treatment, these products remain permanently water-repellent. While the PU coating guards against rain, it's important to note that during heavy weather, water may seep in through the seams. However, our products in this line can withstand light rain, brief showers, or splashes without compromising their interiors.
To preserve the integrity of the product coating, it's crucial to avoid washing the backpacks in a washing machine. Instead, the best method is to gently wipe or rub them with warm water, neutral soap, a soft sponge, or a microfiber cloth.
All textiles should be washed and cleaned following the care instructions provided within the product. Products that haven't been cleaned as per these instructions are exempt from the two-year warranty.
PRODUCTION & TRANSPORT
Most of our products are crafted in Vietnam. The choice of Vietnam is due to its proximity to our clean-up site in Indonesia and its growing expertise in accessory manufacturing, making it an ideal location for our extended manufacturing efforts. Our ROLLTOP family, on the other hand, is manufactured in China. This decision was made because of China's exceptional proficiency in crafting welded and waterproof products. Additionally, China's geographical closeness to our collection and cleaning activities in Indonesia played a crucial role. The production facilities, situated in Quanzhou, Fujian province, possess specialized knowledge in applying coatings and impregnations free of PCV and PVC. This expertise ensures our products are water- and weatherproof.
"Due to significant variations in yarn prices depending on quantity and the absence of new yarn in our production, providing precise figures is challenging. However, we estimate the cost of our recycled yarn to be approximately double to triple that of regular polyester yarn of similar thickness. It's essential to note that while conventional PET yarns are part of a competitive mass market, recycled yarns are still a niche market, contributing to the notable price difference.
Additionally, we factor in the variable quality of recycled yarn, leading to a higher failure rate. To maintain integrity, we avoid using additives like new plastics or chemicals to modify the mechanical properties of the recycled plastic.
At GOT BAG, our workers in Indonesia are compensated based on the amount of plastic waste they collect. To guarantee their safety, we provide on-site training and appropriate work attire. Currently, we are in the process of assigning ID numbers to establish long-term collaborations and offer additional benefits such as insurance and educational support.
In our supply chain, we prioritize partners with certifications like BSCI, SMETA, GRS, Oeko-Tex, Fair Wear, Bluesign, ISO, or TÜV. All our suppliers adhere to our strict Code of Conduct, ensuring the absence of child labor, forced labor, and discrimination.
To maintain these standards, we have employees based in China and Vietnam who conduct regular on-site visits to our suppliers. We also frequently visit our clean-up sites to assess their operations.
We are committed to minimizing the CO2 footprint of our transports. Initially, the Ocean Impact Plastic pellets are shipped from Indonesia to China and Vietnam for processing. While we currently rely on truck transport within those countries, we are actively exploring greener alternatives. The finalized products are then transported via ship from Asia to the US and to Europe to minimize our environmental impact.
ORDERS & RETURNS
You can purchase our GOT BAG products obviously through our online shop or from one of our many retail partners. With the Store Locator, you should be able to find a dealer near you.
Shipping charges are determined by the destination and the subtotal of your order.
Packages do not ship from our distribution center on the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- 4th of July
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Labor Day
- President's Day
- Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving
- Memorial Day
- We ship via FedEx, UPS and USPS and only accept shipments to a valid street address, meaning we do not ship to PO Boxes.
- Standard $6.95 Ground Shipping on an order total $0.00–$49.99
- Standard $4.95 Ground Shipping on an order total $50.00–$99.99
- Free Ground Shipping on an order total of $100+
Alaska, Hawaii & Puerto Rico
Orders shipping to Hawaii, Alaska & Puerto Rico typically arrive in 2-3 business days from the ship date:
- Standard $9.95 Shipping Charges on an order total of less than $100
- Standard $12.95 Shipping Charges on an order total between $100 and $160
- Standard $15.95 Shipping Charges on an order total between $160 and $200
- Standard $18.95 Shipping Charges on an order total of $200+
Canada, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands
Orders shipping to Canada, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands typically arrive in 3-7 business days from the ship date:
- Standard $19.95 Shipping Charges
International orders are subject to duties, customs, and value-added taxes that aren't reflected in our prices. The recipient will be responsible for paying these charges upon receipt of your order, at full price, including free gifts with purchase, buy one get one free item, and discounted pricing.
We are required by law to disclose the full value of the package contents and cannot alter this value. Check with your local customs office for those charges. Some countries may be assessed an additional handling fee for brokering these payments prior to delivery within that country.
Yes, we are committed to eco-friendly practices throughout our shipping process. Our shipments are climate neutral, ensuring that we offset any carbon emissions generated during transportation. Additionally, all our packaging materials are made from recycled materials and are recyclable, aligning with our dedication to sustainability. We take pride in using plastic-free packaging solutions to minimize our environmental impact.
Click here to start your return or exchange process.
We offer free unlimited returns for store credit or exchanges for $2.48 via our partner Re:Do.
If you have more questions, please reach out to our customer happiness team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once an order is placed, it is automatically transmitted to our warehouse. However, if you send us an email request to cancel your order straight away, we will do our best to process it before the product is shipped. If it doesn’t work out, we are happy to send you a return label.
If you would like to change your shipping or billing address after placing your order, please send a message to email@example.com. If the order hasn’t been shipped yet, we will be able to change the address.
We ship via FedEx, UPS and USPS and only accept shipments to a valid street address, meaning we do not ship to PO Boxes.
Once your order is handed to our shipping partner, you will receive an email with the tracking data of your order. Usually, this takes about 1–2 business days after the order is confirmed.
Haven’t found what you are looking for?
Reach out to Theresa, Martin, and Tristen from our super-friendly Customer Happiness team at firstname.lastname@example.org! We're here to help, and we'll get back to you faster than you can say 'GOT BAG'!