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Commuters' Backpack

Reduce one use plastics (straws, cups, cutlery, bags, bottles, food waste) with a convenient & vibrant backpack for the conscious commuter.

Photo of Dave Colley

Written by

I have tried numerous backpacks and satchels over the years. None are designed for my London commute and being environmentally conscious.

Environmentally focused: 

  • Reusable insulated water bottle on one side (insulated from condensation)
  • Reusable coffee cup on the other side (the dregs ends up spilling in general area)
  • Optional modular add-on(s) - 
    • Shoes and/or
    • Food and cutlery contained in separate area (avoid mess)
  • Carrier bags - shopping and lunch (avoid forgetting) - possible expandable area for small shop.
  • Stainless steel straw

Commuter focused: 

  • Can compact (crowded trains)
  • Laptop 
  • Sun glasses container 
  • Solar (potentially, depending on effectiveness, could provide emergency power) 
  • Startup funky version  (could consider a simple and stylish board room version)
  • Rubber base for protection


  • Easy to clean (includes something to clean with)
  • Could have QR code if lost - More easily returned when forgotten somewhere.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Reaching Aspiration

Website (if applicable)

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Construction: MIXED APPAREL TEXTILE - Core material to be used and stitched together to provide a vibrant feel. LAMINATED PU FOAM - To protect key items such as laptops MIXED FOOTWEAR TEXTILE - For the base, to confidently place on the floor in busy (dirty) trains

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our target market is eco-conscious commuter, people who are environmentally focused, but also looking to add a bit of vibrant colour to a dreary commute.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

Our target market is eco-conscious commuter, starting in hubs like London and Barcelona which have vibrant start-up communities and like to buck the status quo. Then looking at students and cyclists (very visible).

How is your idea innovative?

I have pulled together various movements (plastic-less, say no to the straw, re-usable cups) and made them more easily accessible.

What inspired this idea?

Commuting regularly for the last decade. I've seen how the desire to shift away from single use plastics is gaining momentum, but none of the backpacks I have or have seen have been successful.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I (Dave) work as a consultant, a problem solver who has a keen interest in the circular economy. Megan has a background in design from jewellery to re-purposing/designing used clothing. Mike is a Circular Economy evangelist thinking big and bold

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?

United Kingdom

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Sole Proprietor

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

It will give access to the right marketing and manufacturing channels, as well as approaches.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Interesting idea Dave Colley I like the focus on commuters and eco-friendly users. Have you shared your sketches with some potential users to get feedback. It'd be great at this point to understand better their needs and see how they perceive your new design and its "sustainable story". I am tagging one of my students Shreyas Puttaraju who has been working on designing a back pack You could also check these other ideas to see how you can build upon them:

Looking forward to seeing your idea evolve!

Photo of Dave Colley

Hello Anne-Laure Fayard , yes I have been sharing the sketches and concept, with really good feedback. My focus has been engaging with London Commuters, as that is the market I understand, can tap into and it's a painpoint for them. I have done this directly and through a blog post

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Great to hear Dave Colley about the feedback. I will recommend including this in your submission (even as an extra document to which you can refer at the end of your post). I'm curious to know what were the main learnings from your user feedback? Did it lead you to do any iterations? Thanks!

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