Lemurs are a small primate native to the island of Madagascar. These adorable little creatures are one of the most endangered animals on Earth due to illegal deforestation and other practices. 15% of all profits from Lemur Bags goes straight to organizations supporting lemurs conservation projects.
We interview Chris Burdick, the founder of Lemur Bags, who while travelling decided that he had to create a business that would support the conservation organisations of animals in extinction. He is a good example of how little it takes to give back to the society with a social entrepreneurial business: stick to your mission and make it happen. All you need to know about lemurs conservation projects right in this interview, which we hope you enjoy as much as we did!
What was the triggering point for you to start Lemur Bags business?
The idea behind Lemur Bags began about 2 years ago when I was travelling in South East Asia. I was inspired by so many conservation efforts there, especially for animals, and decided then that I wanted to make a company that sells great products and gives back to the world by helping animals who are in danger of extinction.
Why did you relate the backpacks to Lemurs?
I grew up in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area, where one of the best lemur conservation organizations – Duke Lemur Center – is based. Also, I just love lemurs!
Why are Lemurs in danger?
One of the biggest reasons is simply mis- or under-education by local Malagasy people. This leads to practices like illegal deforestation (the biggest threat) and other practices such as eating lemur meat and locally held superstitions. For example, the critically endangered aye-aye is considered to be a bringer of evil, and so villagers kill them whenever they find them.
What are the organizations you work with, and what does each of them do?
I’m currently working with three excellent organizations: Lemur Conservation Network, Duke Lemur Center, and LemurLove.org. They are all doing fantastic work both locally in Madagascar, and back in the United States. They often take research trips and eco-tourism trips to Madagascar as well, so if you can, that would be a great way to get to know such a unique side of a unique country! You can find out more about who and how much we donate to each organization by visiting our We Donate page. We will always keep it updated with who we are working with.
Where are the backpacks produced?
They’re made in a lovely city called Ayutthaya, in Thailand, about 80 km north of Bangkok. They’re produced by a small family-run business and all made by hand.
What material are the bags made from?
We’re very picky about what we use in our bags. All of our bags are made of 100% cotton canvas. On the backpacks and bucket bags, the rope is 100% cotton, and on the duffel bags and shopping totes, the straps are recyclable Polypropylene material. The badges are microfiber, and our tags are kraft paper with hemp rope.
Why should everyone get a Lemur Bag?
Well if you love lemurs and animals, you’re doing a great service to them! Lemur Bags are also incredibly handy, fun, and easy to use. They’re very versatile – you can use them for anything! They’re also lightweight and all of them fold up for easy storage. I always travel with a couple of backpacks and use them on a daily basis.
What has been the impact so far of the Brand?
Great question, so far what I can tell is that we donate a few Lemur Bags to each of the events that these organizations hold, whether it’s a dinner for fundraisers or a charity auction.
Is there any message you’d like to give to all the people who are willing to take part in the lemur movement?
These organizations really do great work and are staffed by people who truly care about what they’re doing and make a lot of personal sacrifices to fulfil their mission. They’re run almost entirely on donations, so please take a look and donate to them or any other cause that you care about. It’s so important that we shop with companies nowadays that are not only in the business to make money, but who give back, which is why sites like Ourgoodbrands are so important!
We highly recommend to check out their website, absolutely beautiful trendy backpacks are waiting for you!
Is there any other similar brand you know or are curious about? Comment below and we will make it happen!
If you are interested in backpack supporting other causes, such as the ocean… Check out Deriva Sailmakers!