Adventurist Backpack Co. — a brand that designs minimalist backpacks — has teamed up with UC Berkeley to sell its merchandise at the Cal Student Store in an effort to provide meals to students and families in need in Berkeley and Oakland.
For every Adventurist backpack sold, 25 meals are provided to families in need across the U.S. According to the company’s co-founder Kelly Belknap, Adventurist distributes meals to over 200 food banks throughout the U.S., including the Alameda County Community Food Bank, or ACCFB, through its partnership with Feeding America.
“We welcome new partnerships and new ways to deepen our support of our community,” said ACCFB spokesperson Norma Batongbacal in an email.
Batongbacal added that ACCFB deeply values the support from corporate partners, as they help different organizations make an impact on local communities.
The first order of backpacks sold out within a few weeks and, according to Belknap, the second batch has been selling out quickly.
“I think they resonate well with student populations that want a high quality and good looking backpack, but don’t want to break the bank to get one,” Belknap said in an email.
In addition to the brand’s partnership with Urban Outfitters, it has also teamed up with universities around the country — including the University of Oregon and Colorado State University — selling the backpacks in its campus stores.
This gives students without food security access to meals.
“No one should be going hungry in 2019, just as a backpack made of high quality fabric and zippers shouldn’t be marked up to cost over $100,” Belknap said in the email. “These are just 2 things we found we could work on doing better, and that’s why we started Adventurist.”
Belknap said retailers have expressed interest in the company’s social leanings as they know the current generation of college students places a high priority on social and environmental impact.
A percentage of the company’s net profits are set to help students around the country who experience food insecurity, Belknap said. She added that about 20 percent of college students in the United States experience food insecurity.
By the end of its third year in business, Adventurist has set a target to provide over 250,000 meals to students and families, according to Belknap.
“We believe that it is every company’s responsibility to give back in order to solve basic problems around our country, and around the world,” Belknap said in the email. “We aim to be at the forefront of brands using business to do something larger than just provide a great product or service, but to help change the world for the better through entrepreneurship.”