Traffik-Free Christmas // Madlug


Paul Meneely

Tell us a bit about yourself 

Hi, my name’s Paul and I’ve just joined the Madlug team. As part of my role I’ll be directing our sales and introducing the work of Madlug to new clients both in Ireland and beyond. As a small start up each day tends to be different and you really have to muck in with everything, which is great! In my spare time I love to go on adventures with my wife Alice, eat good food, read a good book and particularly at this time of the year be wrapped up in front of a fire.


Madlug started back in 2015, can you give us an insight into why and how Madlug came about?

Madlug was founded by my colleague Dave Linton. A man whose only experience in the luggage industry was bags of enthusiasm. This 40-something Youth Worker was heartbroken to learn that most children in care transport their worldly belongings in a bin bag. In that moment, Dave set out to do something about it. With just £480, he started Madlug and came up with our ‘one for one’ approach: with every bag you purchase, one will be given to a child in care.

02(Photo: @garethrees)

When it came to sourcing production for Madlug bags was it important to you that they were produced ethically?

Of course! Our company is founded on the belief that everyone carries inherent value, dignity and worth. While our work focuses on young people, we believe this value applies to everyone. So when it came to sourcing manufacturers we were very careful to ensure that they were ethical in how they ran their business and treated their staff. We’re really proud that our Classic Range is produced right here in Belfast by Usel, a social enterprise that assists people with disabilities and health-related conditions into employment.

Alongside this we are working with various Agencies, Education Authorities and Employers to give work experience to care experienced young people. It’s a real privilege to work with such excellent people, organisations and companies and we’d encourage every business to make sure they know who they are working with and can stand over their work, and where possible to support local.


“To rework an old L’Oreal slogan, people are worth it.”

What would be your one word of advice to someone wishing to shop ethically this Christmas?

Without sounding too simple, DO IT! We know it can be harder and more costly to shop locally and ethically but it is always worth the effort. To rework an old L’Oreal slogan, people are worth it.


03(Photo: @jordan_a_graham)

Now that we know all about Madlug, how should we go about purchasing some Madlug Bags this Christmas?

The easiest place is through our website but we’ll be at numerous events in the run up to Christmas so keep an eye on our social media (@wearemadlug) for updates. We’ve just launched some brand new ranges as well which would make the perfect gift for the whole family!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Madlug and thank you for making a difference.