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Backpack to the Future competition

Design your dream backpack of the future!

Your backpack should include clever gadgets and special tech that allow you to do incredible things!

For example, will your backpack have a solar power system to help you cycle extra fast on your way home from school, even charge your devices, or could your backpack turn plastic rubbish into cool toys to play with at break time?

The winning design will inspire a new prototype created by super cool streetwear and backpack designers – HYPE.

Your entry will be judged on:

  • Originality – how original is your idea?
  • Creativity – how creative is your idea?
  • Engineering – what super-tech gadgets and engineering have you used to make your backpack a reality?
  • Feasibility – how feasible is it that your design can be turned into a real-life prototype?

It’s time to get your thinking caps on, and get creative and techy – we can’t wait to see your ideas!

Download and print our entry form and draw your ‘Backpack to the Future’ design in the space provided.

Ask your parent/guardian to fill out the supporting information and email it back to us at:

If you don’t have a printer, don’t worry! Just draw your backpack on a piece of paper, making sure you explain how it works, then take a photo and send it to us as above with the supporting information.

Good luck!

The competition is open to children aged 5 to 13 years old and closes at 11.59 pm on Sunday, 30 October 2022.


New research into the future of fashion

The IET unveils world’s first biodegradable school backpack as kids predict a sustainable vision for future fashion powered by STEM

Outfits that decompose after they've been worn out, mind-reading headwear and clothes that can regulate your temperature: this is the fashion of the future as predicted by Generation Alpha.

A new IET study of 5-13-year-olds asked children to predict the clothes we’d be wearing in the future, with the integration of technology coming out as a clear theme throughout.

In the next 40 years, a third predict we’ll see flying shoes (35%) and clothes that teleport you to different places (33%) on our shop shelves.

Six in ten (60%) believe we’ll be able to buy a hat that allows you to play video games with your mind and a third (37%) foresee telepathic headwear.

As well as the benefits to our recreational lives however, children also feel fashion will play a key role in wider societal change and help to solve sustainability challenges.

Three-quarters (74%) envisage outfits that are able to decompose leaving no waste behind, half (49%) anticipate clothes that can regulate your temperature and 41% can picture bionic trousers that help people with disabilities to walk.

A third (34%) even say lots of their friends already wear gadgets which help them do more in their day-to-day lives.

Our young people’s style choices also place function over form, with the majority of kids claiming that garments which are made sustainably (86%) or help improve people’s health (71%) are more important than ‘looking cool’.

Fashion plays a significant role in kids’ culture with recognition of brands being established from an increasingly young age – nine in ten (89%) children like to decide which clothes they wear and 84% choose the backpack they wear to school – one of the few opportunities to express their style choices amongst their friends.

So to inspire our Gen A fashionistas and spark their excitement about how STEM can help make their fashion predictions come true, the IET has partnered with global fashion brand HYPE. and Biophilica – winners of the IET / Fashion District Manufacturing Futures Innovation Challenge 2021 for their ground-breaking, fully biodegradable, TreeKind leaf leather – to create the world’s first biodegradable backpack.

Just in time for the new school term!

The prototype has been created to celebrate the launch of the IET’s ‘Backpack to the Future’ campaign – a national competition inviting 5 to 13-year-olds to design their own backpack with STEM-inspired gadgets and special tech that allow them to do incredible things.

Read our Factpack!

Alongside our competition, we’ve worked with HYPE. and sustainable materials company Biophilica to release a ‘Factpack’ – a number of fun facts demonstrating to children the links between fashion and STEM – and illustrating the ways in which engineers and technicians are currently involved in the fashion industry.

Factpack To The Future Flyer Image

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