Two young New Zealanders are on a mission to change the look of women’s travel with the launch of Elephant Stripes, a business offering a range of travel gear to give women a serious does of wanderlust.
Francesca Logan and Jordan Abrahams launched Elephant Stripes in March 2016, marketing travel suitcases, duffel bags, folding bags, packing cells, and cosmetic cases for sale online. All of their products attempt to break the status quo of fashionable and functional travel gear being mutually exclusive.
The co-founders of Elephant Stripes have established a Kickstarter campaign where they’re taking pre-orders for travel packs to raise money for their manufacture. In just two weeks, the campaign has already raised over $20,000, with backers from more than 15 countries. Supporters of the campaign are rewarded with up to 40% off recommended retail prices.
Francesca and Jordan met at Victoria University, Wellington, and soon bonded over a love of travel and “a desire to make a difference in the world”. Their similar experiences and ambitions led them to the realisation that they’d be the perfect match as business partners.
The idea for Elephant Stripes arrived while buying travel gear for a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, with Francesca commenting on the uninspiring selection available for women.
“We found that most packs were made for hiking, not travelling. The result was ugly, top-loading bags, with straps hanging off everywhere; not ideal for travel. We were horrified by the mud-brown and boogie-green shades on offer. When it came to female travel packs, usually the only change from the men’s packs was to shrink it and pink it.”
Elephant Stripes travel packs have six unique designs and two sizes – one is carry on and the other is larger, with a detachable daypack. They incorporate leading edge travel-pack features such as having the bags open like a suitcase, a fully adjustable harness system, a zip-away harness, dedicated laptop pocket, built-in rain cover and an attachable side carry strap. All bags use high quality materials including YKK buckles and lockable zips.
But style and practicality are not the only things Elephant Stripes boast; Francesca says the pair are keen to be part of the new generation of entrepreneurs who do good while doing well.
To that end, they have partnered with the Bali Children’s Project – a reputable, not-for-profit charity registered in the U.S. and Indonesia – to provide a school bag to an Indonesian child in need for every bag sold during the Kickstarter campaign.
The duo have also carefully selected a manufacturer in Indonesia who best aligns with their values, and set up a charitable foundation which owns a portion of the business.
“We are in the process of moving to fully recycled packaging and aim to use recycled fabrics in future, and hope to join with other woman entrepreneurs and become involved in elephant rescue projects.”