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|RISD Alum||Jonathan Baker|
Jonathan Baker 97 ID and Sean Donovan 94 IL did not cross paths at RISD. As transfer students, Baker began a “sleepless three years in Industrial Design” just after Donovan, who majored in Illustration, graduated and went on to launch a variety of creative pursuits in Providence. But when they did meet a few years later—virtually, as colleagues at a leading athletic-equipment company—they bonded over a belief in the transformative power of design. “We truly believe,” Baker says, “that designers can create better systems and better outcomes” for both the products they make and the people they serve. Today the duo is moving closer to realizing their ambitions with eqpd, a softgoods company Baker founded three years ago in the small town of Twisp, WA. Utilizing sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, they create utilitarian bags that are “reusable for a lifetime”; every owner of an eqpd bag, the partners say, represents one fewer contributor to the world’s alarming overuse of disposable plastic bags (at a rate of more than one million per minute worldwide, says Baker).