The cool, colourful bags by Madlug – a name inspired by the tagline “Make a difference luggage” – exist to give children in care the dignity they deserve.
No child should have to carry their worldly belongings in a bin bag or plastic shopping bag. But sadly, this is the reality for many kids in care, an experience that leads to feelings of worthlessness.
Madlug has given thousands of children (they plan to reach 100,000 by 2024) across the UK and Ireland a pack-away travel bag. They’ve done this thanks to a buy-one-give-one approach. When you buy a Madlug bag, another bag goes to a child in care.
Madlug specially designed the travel bag with help from care professionals working with young people, to make sure it fits the needs of the children using it. When folded away, you can see a label saying “You are incredible”. A small reminder to each child that they have value, worth and dignity.
When it comes to Madlug bags for you, pick from backpacks, roll-top daypacks and duffel bags. They’ve also expanded the range to include other accessories like insulated water bottles and a travel mug. Profits from these products help support kids in care too.
Across the UK and Ireland, there are around 90,000 children in care. Most of the public aren’t aware of the problems these kids face. Madlug does an incredible job of raising awareness and making a difference with its bags. They earned a well-deserved B Corp certification in January 2022.
Dave Linton was heartbroken to see a video of a girl in care talking about how children are often given bin bags, instead of proper luggage, to move their belongings. “We lose our dignity,” she explained.
It was enough to inspire Dave to take action and help give kids in care the dignity they deserve when moving. He decided a buy-one-give-one model, similar to TOMS Shoes, would be the best way to get kids a quality bag.
Starting out with just £480, Madlug was launched in 2015. Dave jokes that his only knowledge of luggage was “bags of enthusiasm.” But his care, compassion and experience as a youth worker and adoptive and foster parent has ensured the biz has done bags of good.