Friday, March 8th, 2013
The Backpack Bed by national homeless charity Swags for Homeless will be recognised at the Edison Awards Gala on April 25 in Chicago, USA.

Designed in Australia, by husband and wife Tony and Lisa Clark - the Backpack Bed has been named a 2013 Award Finalist by the internationally renowned Edison Awards™ in the Social Impact category and is up against the John Lennon Variable Focus Eyewear; one of twelve categories honoured by the Edison Awards. The distinguished awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring creative minds to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

“More than any year, this year's slate of Finalists demonstrate the enormous value of teamwork, experimentation, consumer focus, market awareness and game-changing success,” said Frank Bonafilia, Edison Awards’ executive director. “It’s exciting to see a charity like Swags for Homeless continuing Thomas Edison’s legacy of challenging conventional thinking.”

According to Tony Clark, Swags for Homeless Founder, Backpack Bed co-designer and CEO, recognition as an Edison Award finalist is the major highlight for 2013 and presents a special opportunity to expand internationally. “The highlight in 2012 was the distribution across Australia of just over 3,000 study proven Backpack Beds to homeless people without shelter. The Edison opens the doors for Swags for Homeless to help with the dire homeless situation in the USA. This April 2013, with the support of Rotary, 100 Australian Backpack Beds will be delivered to homeless across several cities on the US East Coast, including New York and Washington. With another 40 to Chicago.”

The Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless has revolutionised single bed outdoor sleeping for street sleeping homeless turned away from shelters and as material aid for disaster relief. The Backpack Bed meets 47 international safety and quality standards, has a built-in mattress and rolls up to be worn as an ergonomic backpack. With fire retardant protection it is also waterproof, windproof, mildew resistant and weighs approx. 2.9 kilos.

Swags for Homeless partners with 200+ homeless welfare agencies to distribute the acclaimed Backpack Beds across Australia - with the study proven Backpack Bed program now spreading to New Zealand, UK and Germany. 40,878 Australians will sleep on the streets this year. A study has shown Backpack Beds improve homeless dignity, health, comfort and warmth.

The Backpack Bed has won five global product design awards including the prestigious Germany Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ and has been acquired by three international museums in Sydney, Paris and Germany. With a self-sustaining charity vision, Backpack Beds are also sold to the public with profits going back to help more homeless projects.

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards is judged by more than 3,000 senior business executives and academics from across the nation whose votes acknowledge the Finalists’ success in meeting the award criteria of Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact. The Panel includes members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), the American Association Advertising Agencies (4As) the Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO), the Design Management Institute (DMI), the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Association of Technology Management & Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Also on the Panel are hundreds of past Edison Award winners, marketing professionals, scientists, designers, engineers and academics.

The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. The 2013 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielsen, Discovery Communications, Science Channel, and USA Today. For more information about the Edison Awards, Edison Universe and a list of past winners, visit

See category – Lifestyle and Social Impact / Social Impact

Tony highlights “The Backpack Bed provides dignity for street sleeping homeless and it is pleasing that this has been recognised by the world-renowned Edison awards.”


Tony Clark, Founder, CEO and co-designer of Backpack Bed.

[email protected] Ph:(03) 9764 9422 Mob: 0411 455 779

Bill Manallack, National Co-ordinator

[email protected] Ph:(03) 9764 9422 Mob: 0417 535 235



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Bill Manallack

P: 0417 535 235
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Backpack Bed , John Lennon, Edison Award Finalist



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