Responsive Design at eqpd
When we started eqpd gear design and manufacturing in an abandoned Forest Service Complex, we had no idea what we were going to make, but we knew it would be useful. Our goal was to solve problems through design, making objects and systems more efficient, more adaptive, more effective and maybe even a bit inspiring. From the very beginning we were also committed to local manufacturing. e set out to be a force for good in our community - creating local jobs, exceptional products, and positive economic impact.
Six years later, we are happy to report, we have replaced millions of single-use bags with our LastBag, employed close to 20 local designers and sewers, and supported innumerable community initiatives. We’ve hosted high school interns, free Fix-Your-Gear nights, donated products to fundraisers, hosted events and manufacturing tours, even given a TedX talk on the importance of Art Education. The first quarter of 2020 was going strong, and our commitment to local production and engagement was working. We were excited to expand our production and team to meet growing demand for eqpd products.
Then the COVID-19 Crisis hit and the value of local designing and manufacturing became crystal clear. Whether that be food, hand sanitizer or face masks, a smaller economy is pretty useful right now. When we became aware our region needed PPE, eqpd made a pivot to manufacturing - surgical masks. We are small and nimble, just like our community. We were able to adapt to the needs of our neighbors quickly and appropriately, because we are part of the community. This idea we call “Responsive Design” is at the heart of eqpd. We apply our abilities in support of the very people who support us, for the greater good of everyone.
As designers, we couldn't imagine a more rewarding and purposeful mission. We started with the intent to eliminate single-use bags and evolved into making objects for public health. We now make both these things for our community, helping eqpd remain both practical and motivational. We want to nurture a spirit of creativity and resourcefulness to create smart solutions our community can be proud of. Our products say "Proudly Made In Twisp, WA, USA" because where you build things does matter!
Thank you for your support, we are all in this together.
“I wanted to make a product that could be used by the whole human race and potentially solve some real problems,” Baker continues. This commitment to design as an agent of positive change is exemplified by their signature product: a waterproof, industrial-strength tote called the LastBag. It’s an everyday product made so sturdily that “it’s the last bag you’ll ever need,” Donovan says. "We truly believe," Baker says,"that design can create better systems and better outcomes" for both the product we make and the people we serve.