By now, “green” initiatives are nothing new. It seems like a car commercial can’t air unless the words “fuel economy” or “miles per gallon” show up somewhere. There’s earth-friendly cleaning products, clothes, furniture… If something was to prove you can never have enough friends, Mother Earth would be a prime candidate.
I’m not here to bash the people jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon using it to sell things. Besides a select few, most who endorse being eco-friendly actually strive for a better environment. Although we don’t have a huge selection of recycled handbags, much of my team’s Handbag Heaven selection derives from recycled materials. And after interning for People for Urban Progress, where they create a recycled handbag from a stadium’s roof material, I think handbags born from cool places and things are even better than their factory-based competition.
Recycled handbags have a story to tell. Just like the PUP bags speak about housing thousands of NFL fans every week, your bag can say something about you and where you’ve been, not just your fashion. So instead of buying the next brand-name bag, consider these insights to make your own!
Part 1: The Inner Lining.
A quick easy outlet that screams memories and personality is your old t-shirt collection. If you can’t let that favorite tank go, let it hide in your handbag and take it with you wherever you go! Miss your boyfriend? Find one of his old striped dress shirts for a classy look that will last forever. For a super-durable feel, think about an old umbrella or other vinyl materials.
Part 2: The Outer Lining.
This offers the most personality because everyone sees the outside of your bag all the time. Really, you can dream up just about any combination of fabrics – old T-shirts, patterned skirts, floral scarves, retro drapes, anything! For a mod color blocking look, little colorful things that you can place together work great. Don’t forget, you can use tough sturdy materials like your old rain boots too for the bottom of the bag and give it some shape.
Part 3: The Shoulder Strap.
I think this is the most fun part of the bag because you really have to get creative here. And the more creative you are, the more style points you get (that’s a known fact!). Old belts go great with leather bags, and striped scarves coordinate with your patterned sheets or beach towel. The recycled handbags I mentioned earlier use adjustable seatbelts from used cars – the possibilities are endless!
Part 4: The Pockets.
The pockets are often overlooked as the part that will complete your handbag. Zippers are super easy to put in, and you can re-use pockets from all kinds of things: blouses out of fashion, your old favorite pair of jeans, even old handbags. With all your options, you could probably make a bag just out of pockets! Don’t forget to credit me for the idea ;)
Handbags already say a lot about the person carrying them, but there’s no more honest way to say it than when you make your bag from your life’s stuff. So, who do you want your bag to say you are? Or who do you want to be?
Bio: When Nate Schrader isn’t writing about the latest fashion in handbags for HandbagHeaven.com, he’s using his art background to create his own furniture and graphic art while going to any big city art collection for a little inspiration.