- Buyer's Guide
5 minutes with Truce Designs
In todays ‘5 minutes with’ we venture to Portland, Oregon and catch up with Truce Designs founder, Luke Mathers. A young bag maker with a keen eye and passion for resilient and environmentally responsible carry. Learning to sew industrial-grade fabrics while repairing sails and making boat covers, Luke saw an opportunity in discarded sails that were turfed in the scrap bin, and we’re pretty glad he did…but I’ll let him tell the rest.
1) What key insights drive your stuff?
Finding durable materials that would otherwise be discarded to recycle into versatile, waterproof bags. I started sewing by learning how to fix sails and making boat covers for North Sails, where I saw chunks of sail material getting thrown away. I began making bags and accessories that I would use for cycling and daily carrying, and I had a great time finding uses for all the stuff in the scrap bin. Most serious sailboat racers get a new set of sails every 5 years or so, and the old ones tend to pile up in their garages. Making crew bags for them out of their old sails is a good way to keep that material out of the landfills, while creating a useful product that also has a personal connection for them.
2) Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry and why do you think they’re important?
There are so many great products out there to learn from, but I’m mostly drawn towards modern outdoor-oriented designs. I’m always inspired by our friends at Cilogear, they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of lightweight, modular pack technology. Looking at designs from the best outdoor companies is a great place for me to get ideas, they have to be well designed and made from limit-pushing materials in order to succeed. I’m stoked on new materials and processes, finding ways to combine factory surplus with recycled materials is part of the inspiration for our name.
3) Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?
I’ve been a longtime fan of Patagonia’s designs, as well as their environmental contributions. They’ve been making their supply chain footprint available to customers, and are at the forefront of being a sustainable, socially responsible company.
4) What’s next for you guys?
Finishing up the field testing on our duffle bags and finally getting them up on a new website! We’ve been working on and traveling with them for about two years now, and the design is finally getting dialed in. We’re also working on a product collaboration with the guys over at Trew Gear, they’re a fellow 1% For The Planet member and we’ll be making duffles and other accessory bags from their old products.
5) What do you carry daily and how?
I use our most popular item, the Medium Drop Liner Backpack as a daily bag. It works well for everything from getting around town to being a weekend travel bag. For longer trips I combine it with our upcoming Medium Duffle which has a seam sealed liner as well, and attachment points on the bottom for my Penny skateboard.