Lichtenfels/Germany, 30.10.2019 – Aviationscouts GmbH has been involved with Thomas Machalke since January 2019 in Bag to Life, the award-winning upcycling brand of the Ehrensache D/V GmbH & Co. KG.

Lifejackets_PR_aviationscouts_bag to lifeA good network is the be-all and end-all. Three years ago, Thomas Bulirsch, Managing Director of Aviationscouts GmbH, met Kerstin Rank, founder of Bag to Life, at an event and discovered many similarities in the business idea around recycling and upcycling.

Bag to Life was founded in 2010 by Kerstin Rank in Bayreuth. From the beginning, she designed bags and accessories made from highly efficient aerospace materials and developed the manufacturing cycle that all discarded lifejackets go through at Bag to Life. Since their launch, 75,000 lifejackets have been saved from disposal, thus avoiding  130 tons of waste.

In the course of the co-shareholder change, Aviationscouts GmbH and Ehrensache D/V GmbH & Co. KG have joined forces. In January 2019, the move from Bayreuth to the offices of Aviationcouts GmbH in Lichtenfels took place.

At the Lichtenfels site, a constantly growing hotspot of aviation expertise is created. Existing synergies can be exploited, such as the approximately 3,500 square meter warehouse and space for administration, production and logistics. “Here we have beneficial components, – from joint trade fair appearances to marketing, purchasing, material flow, and suppliers.” says Kerstin Rank.

For the public, Bag to Life will conduct an ”open house” on Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 as well as a “Xmas Outlet Sale”. From 11am to 5pm, anyone interested can get a glimpse of the company and its sustainability concept in addition to a demonstration of Bag to Life bags and accessories.

Starting in 2020, new product lines are to be launched beyond the bag segment,” says Thomas Bulirsch. “Here we are bringing together our expertise and creating new product worlds. We are ahead of the game by showing new opportunities, which in turn serve a large number of target groups and above all demonstrate responsible path in the product cycle. The lifejacket spends up to 10 years flying underneath the seat and experiences so many adventures during its orbits around the world. Customers can look forward to our new ideas! Concrete designs will be available in the first half of 2020.” says Thomas Bulirsch.

Kerstin Rank was awarded the BVMW Entrepreneur Award Oberfranken on Nov 29, 2019. This award is presented to independent women from the region who, through their ideas and approaches, have changed the day-to-day work in the local economy and are thus a role model for others. The BVMW Entrepreneur Award 2019 introduces inspiring women from the Upper Franconian region and makes their achievements more visible.


The genesis of Bag to Life

When a flight attendant demonstrated the safety precautions on a holiday flight, it struck Kerstin Rank like lightning. Enthusiastic about material, form and color it was clear: Kerstin wanted to create bags from it. This event in 2009 was the birth of “Bag to Life” – a play on words meaning “back to life”.

Bag to life_lifejackets_aviationscouts Btl

The idea is as simple as it is ingenious. Discarded lifejackets and airplane seat covers are given second life as a bag or accessory. Designed from high-tech aviation materials – whose durability has expired – to create unique products that make hearts beat faster and showcase how the world can be made greener and more sustainable through creativity.

Lifejackets and other original materials of the aircraft industry must be replaced after a certain period of time for safety reasons. With their standards these high-tech fabrics meet the highest norms because only the most functional and lightest base material is used in aircraft. These components are of such high-quality that they are able to bring the benefits of the aircraft industry to their wearer in a second life as a bag.

The collection is specially designed and developed to meet the needs of frequent flyers and travel enthusiasts. “We want to open more target groups to sustainability by not meeting them with a raised finger,” says Kerstin Rank. “We just want to offer a well-designed product with high functionality,” she continues.

The company has already received several awards for its business idea:

  • 2015 nominated for the German Design Award
  • 2016 awarded for the Competence Center Culture and Creative Industries of the Federal Government
  • Winner of the German Brand Award in 2017
  • 2019 winner of the Entrepreneur Award in Upper Franconia in the category “start-ups”.
Kerstin Rank_Unternehmerin Award 2019
Kerstin Rank, founder and managing director of Bag to Life / Ehrensache D/V GmbH & Co. KG.

B2L_Thomas Machalke_Kerstin Rank_Thomas Bulirsch

About Aviationscouts GmbH

Aviationscouts GmbH, represented by CEO and founder Thomas Bulirsch, operates a successful trading agency for the aviation industry, as well as the Internet platform, an online marketplace for buying and selling surplus aircraft passenger seats.

With over 20 years of expertise in buying and selling aircraft interiors, Aviationscouts GmbH equally supports sellers and buyers, offering a one-stop-shop for interiors requirements. Aviationscouts GmbH has over 4,500 square meters of storage capacity at its headquarters in Lichtenfels/Germany, and the necessary industry contacts to source, inspect, transport, overhaul, recycle or sell a wide variety of interior products globally. Additional services include logistic, promotion, refurbishment and engineering of “As Removed” passenger seats for airlines, leasing companies, MROs and resellers.

Aviationscouts GmbH has been focusing more on sustainability since January 2019 and has been involved in Bag to Life, the designer and manufacturer of upcycled bags and accessories made from highly efficient aircraft industry materials.

Press contact
Ms Filiz Kasim-Herr
Phone: +49 9571 947 907-22

Press contact Bag to Life
Ms Kerstin Rank
Phone: +49 9571 929 90-61

>> Download Press release_Aviationscouts GmbH participates in Bag to Life_EN

>> Download Pressemeldung_Aviationscouts beteiligt sich an Bag to Life_DE