Madlug: Backpacks That Give Back

Other | Wednesday 12th September 2018 | Cat

It's that time of year when it’s time to start at university and everybody is busy getting their kit together if you’re in the market for a new backpack or daypack why not get one that helps children in care in the process.


Every 15 - 20 minutes a child enters care in the UK imagine having to pack up your whole world and move to a new place, not knowing where you’re going or who is going to be looking after you. To make matters worse many of these children are having what little belongings they own transported to their new home in black bin bags.


Madlug wants to put a stop to that situation and has created a unique social enterprise that helps provide suitable bags to children in care because they feel it's the least they can do to try and give some dignity to these children in their time of need.


Madlug sells Backpacks, Daypacks, Gym bags and Cabin Suitcases Their current funding model means that for each bag sold to you or me they are able to donate a bag to a young person in care. The cost of each bag in their store covers, your item,  a free bag for a child in care and free postage on both bags.


Madlug has worked with care experienced young people and health trusts to create a giving bag that is focused around the needs of children in care. The bag itself folds away to fit in a small space, has no branding to avoid any stigma but does have a label that reads “You are incredible” to remind every child that they have value, worth and dignity.



The project that has evolved into Madlug was founded in 2015 by Dave Linton, the Youth Worker was heartbroken to hear how most children in care are expected to transport their only possessions in bin bags and decided that he would do something about it. He started the business with just £480 and now has a mission to give away 30,000 bags to children in care by July 2019.


Right now the demand for donated bags is very high and is greater than the bags they sell, so the company has also set up a system where you can ‘gift a bag’ this means you can donate a bag without buying one for yourself, for just £10. If you really want to make a difference you can set up a monthly subscription for £10 which will donate a bag each month, you can stop it anytime. The price includes the cost to manufacture the bag as well as ship it to a child in care.


If you would like to find out more or grab one of these bags for yourself please visit


To hear more about their story please watch this video.