Who’s the person behind Booti Bags?
Hello I’m Josh. I live and work in Walyalup (Fremantle) on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja. I’m a long time goofy bike rider with big dreams; a big fan of inclusivity, volunteer bike workshops and getting on out there on the bike you have. I make bike and everyday bags in a lovely space called Ecoburbia that shares my values on sustainability – I’m always looking at how to make new stuff with old stuff!
I was late to the game but fell in love with being outside and offroad on bikes whilst living in Germany. After strapping on warped hummus buckets and parts of backpacks for my first big tour, I decided to give bag-making a crack mid 2021. Borrowing mum n’ dad’s old machine, I had a lot of trouble winding the bobbin but got there in the end and started experimenting with bags that I liked the look of. That’s probably my main ethos, to make bags that float my boat, and make them as sustainably as possible.
Which product are you most proud of?
Oh I bloomin’ love the feeling of seeing my equipment on anyone’s bike! I finished off a framey-feedbag combo last year in which the colours are pretty unique, there’s some brill patches from Moodpie, and Kate wanted some rattlesnake bar tape included too! Seeing it on her bike and showing the world was definitely a heart mover.
What excites you about the AUS/NZ bikepacking scene AND/OR how would you like to see the scene grow/change?
I love seeing the massive range of people on the trails and touring routes. The social media image we’re sold is that bikepacking is for the ultra-fit, the speedy finishes, the ultralight. But, really, it’s not! Having a diversity of people, each with different plans and goals and gear is so refreshing. I’d love to see this reflected in how we show bikepacking to the world, to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
Perhaps controversially for someone selling gear, I love seeing people share equipment and fostering community in the bikepacking and hiking scene. We don’t need more brand new bikes, brand new plastic, brand new fancy gimmicks. Fostering that community spirit and sharing what we have so that everyone can give it a crack, is a sweet sweet dream.
Where’s your favourite place your gear has taken you? Or that someone has taken your gear?
Lately I’ve been watching my family and close friends rip through the burbs with their hot rigs and blingy bags after I copped a big ol’ bike crash myself. Oh! After sending a few bags over to some lovely folk in Canberra, one of the feedbags was taken over for a tour of iceland! How cool is that! Thousands of kilometres away, wheels turning and my bags holding some yummy treats for tired legs. That’s a lovely thought whilst sweating behind the machine in summer heatwaves.
What’s next for Josh and Booti Bags?
I have a few commissions in the works now. I’ll be dropping an “upcycled theme” soon with some cool new ideas for reusing unwanted gear. As it gets cooler I’ll be heading out on the Munda Biddi again with friends and internet bike-pals! Then in August I’ll be heading over to Europe to finally get on the bike there which is a real exciting thought – riding through another continent whilst showcasing my bags and living off the bike. YeHaW!
Any other Aussie/NZ makers, creators and scene builders you want to shout out:
Big ups to the lovely and warm bike crew over in Canberra for being inspiring, sweet and open to constant interstate communication! Mattie you’ve been particularly warm and always interested and supportive.
Graeme at Monkey Puzzle Fabrics is doing a floopin’ great job at getting fabrics and components out to makers. The folk at Commuter Cycles, Adelaide Bike Kitchen and CERES Bike Shed were so lovely to meet last year and big ups to them and their inclusive and warm approach.
The other aussie makers have also been so lovely to be in contact with, the people behind Hungry, Framework Designs, Terra Rosa, Schusser Threads and Tier Gear have been constant inspiration and always been very free with their insider knowledge.
Thanks Mattie you legend <3 (floopin’ is an original and i’m trademarking it)
Website URL: www.bootibags.com – locked and loaded and coming soon!