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I admire all of you who engage in cleaning beaches and working actively for alternatives to plastic disposable products. I admire all of you who rebel and all of you who share your resources with others to inspire everyone to not give up. You are my inspiration.

We have to begin from the start…

I wanted to make a sleeping cot for babies that they could continue using when growing up. In the 1930s a pediatrician in Finland invented the ”Mum box”. All pregnant women get everything their babies need the first year – except love, of course. Mothers across Finland put their babies in the snug boxes for nap times to widespread appraise and success. It got me thinking...

”This is so wonderful! All Mothers should have this ready for her newborn!”

This sparked the idea that is now the HOISK Bag System. A much improved technical version of a glorified cardboard box. I added insulation to it to keep it warm and cozy on the coldest of Scandinavian winter days. The sides folds out and the lid comes off for multiple people and children to sit on, play on and nap in.

I made the first ugly one myself. Later on the local sailmaker made up a few bags to play with. A few months later someone told me that industrial designers are creative people, too. Who knew, right? So I showed it to an experienced designer, and the strangest thing happened. He lit up and shouted:

”I want to have a bag like that for my surf stuff! And for my tools! I can see everything in here!”

Hans Petter, the sailmaker, gets to work and I send a few HOISK Bags around to willing test pilots. When Jonas, a skier, saw the bags he exclaimed:

”I want a bag like that for when I travel the world skiing! I can sit on my HOISK Bag and keep my butt warm and carry all my stuff in it – on my back!”

And then there was Nora, living in the far north of Norway:

”I want a bag like that to throw my wetsuits in after my Lofoten winter surfing – oh, and I can sit on it while my wetsuits dry!”

beyond what I originally imagined, the HOISK bag System was proving to be effective and useful for a vast amount of people living fascinating & exciting lives!

In Lofoten Nora met Magnus, an aviator & wind surfer. He liked staying warm and keeping the sand away from his clean clothes & from under his feet while changing on the beach. And you know what? He was using a HOISK Bag, too. My eldest son, Rasmus took the bag to Mozambique and Swaziland for music festivals where they endured and perfectly managed a completely different climate and use. The bags were used on diving trips, to picnics in the parks on urban vacations, prolonged sailing trips. Ohh and Stella, our Spinone dog, likes to sleep in it on cold days on the boat and on cold wintery nights at the cabin.

We use our HOISK Bag all the time after skiing to have a warm dry place to sit on instead of the snow. It holds our thermos and our packed lunches so we can create our own impromptu picnic wherever we want on the mountain, a really freeing feeling! Tiril who is just one year old, sleeps in it when her parents takes her to the mountains and the beaches. Her mother has cross country skied Norway from north to south. She loves her HOISK Bag. Her brother later slept in it when they took him on a prolonged bicycling adventure around Norway.

Now we make the HOISK Bags in a small factory in Gausdal, Norway. The amazing craftsmen & women sometimes go to sleep thinking about how to improve the bag system in any which way from improving the carrying system, to testing out different materials. And only when eating breakfast the next morning finding a creative new solution to an idea. They really know how to create quality products to defeat the harshest of climates. Sometimes Gausdal has so much snow it is impossible to get to work. I once went on a four day dog sledding tour out in the surrounding valleys. Everything was white but the huskies were amazing and well trained. They knew exactly where we were and where to go. We slept in a log cabin, the dogs outside and we had fried trout for breakfast. This was a completely normal occurrence to the strong folk of Gausdal. Strong and honest people come from these mountains.

 

I aim to produce sustainable, repairable, high quality products

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For two years I have been working with NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) such as The United Nations and Care. Care took five bags to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and showed it to UN employees. They suggested the concept would work well in lesser organized, more acute & time sensitive situations where not a lot of infrastructure can be set up. The HOISK Bag System can be transported flat while empty and be set up in seconds to create instant high quality baby cribs for young children. I will keep working on this important aspect of the journey of HOISK. To stay up to date on the current needs of the world’s most exposed, I have kept in touch with NOREPS (Norwegian Emergency Response System). Working with NGOs and the humanitarian market is a marathon – not a sprint. Read more: “A drop in the Sea” and HOISK.

Take care of your playgrounds - be it city, snow, sea or in the air. One way is to conquer the ”use-and-throw” mentality. Buy locally and support domestic fabrication and production. Clean the beaches, mountains and cities every day. Recycle. Avoid plastic. Teach the children to understand the environment. Teach them the right values, that we need to consume less and care more for this wonderful world.

It is hard for mothers around the world to follow up sometimes. She needs to assure that her child has enough water and food, a protected place, blankets and clothes. Then she can afford to care about the environment. Lets help her.

Stay engaged

Karina Udland,
Founder & CEO at HOISK
karina@hoisk.no