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From making face masks to creating their new “Ignitor” line to promote unity, PUP is a local brand using their platform to help the community and spread awareness during this unprecedented time. Turae Dabney, executive director of People For Urban Progress joined us today to tell us us about their mission and new products. Here’s more from her:

At PUP, we are citizen design champions, dedicated to advancing good design and civic sustainability by developing products and projects in connectivity, responsible reuse, and making.

We believe that everyone, regardless of race, gender, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual preference, or other characteristics deserves a seat at the design table.

We are singularly focused on creating an environment of equitable design by using our platform to meet the needs of our community and invite designers to the conversation who may not already have access.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our new “Ignitor” product line will go to fund a recurring PUP fellowship. This fellow will be tasked with designing and implementing a project that impacts the Indianapolis community.

The new PUP fellowship will seek to uplift designers who are historically underrepresented in the Indianapolis community, with a focus on minority communities.

This initial fellow would set a precedent for future fellows, with the goal of impacting our surrounding communities for years to come with many more inclusive and equitable design projects.

Key Messages about PUP and its history:

Since its inception in 2008, and the initial project which transformed salvaged roof material from the RCA Dome into bags, wallets, and other products, PUP has been devoted to using design and responsible reuse to make Indianapolis a better place to live – to create the responsible and resilient city of the future.

Notable projects since the “Dome Bag Project” include PUP Stops (the transformation of old Bush Stadium seats into seating along IndyGo bus stops throughout the city) and the Amtrak Collection (backpacks, bags, wallets, and accessories made from up-cycled leather from Amtrak train seats).

According to co-founder Michael Bricker: “Our work has been about how a salvaged resource intersects with people – the makers, fabricators, users, and citizens. Everyone working together to give something new life, a new use, and hopefully in the long run, demonstrate how we can be more proactive when thinking about the future resources of our city.”

At PUP, we are always on the lookout for innovative and creative ideas and projects that focus on reuse and sustainability. We invite all designers to the conversation and believe we will not be an equitable society until true diversity of thought and design is represented at the table.

Details about “Ignitor” line

Initial products for the Ignitor line will include the Ally Backpack and a t-shirt depicting unity within the Indianapolis community.
The Ally Backpacks are made from repurposed pool cover material donated to PUP by a national pool company.

The first batch is 20 backpacks – once those sell out customers will be able to place pre-orders through the PUP website. Price point for the Ally Backpacks is $225, and they are available online only through Once the initial 20 backpacks sell out, PUP will take pre-orders for the next batch of product.

Also included in this launch is a T-shirt created by Indianapolis designer, Byron Elliott, founder of Blacksheep Collective. An initial batch of 50 of these exclusive shirts will be available in sizes XS-XXL at our retail partner, Silver in the City, and via PUP’s website.

Our team of designers and in-house stitchers is currently working on new products to create from the black recycled pool cover material. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these additional items will also go toward the PUP Fellowship fund.

PUP Fellowship details:

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Ignitor Ally Backpack and tees will fund a new PUP fellowship aimed at identifying and uplifting designers who may not have otherwise had financial backing for their projects.

This PUP fellow will be tasked with designing and implementing a project that impacts the Indianapolis community through the lens of repurposed and reuse.

The initial fellow will set the groundwork for future PUP fellows, impacting Indianapolis for years to come through many more inclusive and equitable design projects

For more about PUP, Visit their website. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.