The Sunnybag: fashionable and responsible?

We’ve all been in the situation haven’t we? One too many drinks on a Wednesday evening whilst trying desperately to impress the slightly common HR girl who always wears the skimpy skirts; failing miserably, watching her cop off with your boss who’s really very smug about it before arriving home far too late and dishevelled for a school night. In the haze you forget to charge your phone, and by the time you arrive late to work in the morning the battery has run out. Truly a 21st century dilemma it be.

Well, thanks to Austrian inventor Stefan Penfold this can be a thing of the past. Stefan has invented the Sunnybag which had its release on the 12th November. These range of bags with an in-built 3 Watt solar panel which powers a 1600m Ah LI-Ion battery pack, which in turn can be connected to over 400 mobile phones, PDA’s, iPod’s, iPhone’s and USB’s.

Great, you may think, but surely a bag with a solar panel is going to look like a misplaced prop from Total Recall? Oh ye of little faith. The Sunnybag team have knocked together two swanky leather satchels, appropriate for businessmen, everyday-ers and students alike with multiple compartments. These come in dark brown or black, while there is also a green canvas bag that will suit those who are looking for a bag for camping trips and the like. Somewhat perversely, generating electricity from sunlight n’ all, the bags also do not necessarily need a sunny day to get your equipment charged; a cloudy one will easily suffice- good news for all those used to English Winters (and Summers, thinking about it…).

Stefan himself says of the bag: ‘Our solarbags are more than a fashion statement, they are a personal statement about a commitment to sustainability, sensibility, and responsibility.” And it is in this that the Sunnybag really becomes an invention for our time, with its admirable use of the worlds natural resources to fuel our needs. However, and here is the rub, this comes at a high price with the product retailing at 199 Euro’s, which puts it out of reach of the high street market. If the Sunnybag is a success, though, this price will surely come down and make forgotten chargers and low battery an oft-mocked memory.