Innovation That Matters

From recycled leather scraps, purses with a story

Fashion & Beauty

Eco-friendly fashion has been an ongoing theme on our virtual pages in recent years, as have product life stories. Combining an element of each, we recently came across New York designer Diana Eng’s “fortune cookie” change purses, which are made entirely from recycled — and traceable — scraps of leather. Each 4-by-4-by-2-inch fortune cookie purse comes with a dust bag as well as a real printed fortune inside. Even more interesting, the purses are all made of scrap leather reclaimed from the furniture, upholstery and garment industries. One batch, for example, derives from a pelt of leather that was mistakenly written upon with magic marker, making it unsuitable for the clothing it was intended for. Instead, Eng simply used small sections that were still clean. Perhaps best of all, however, is that each purse is branded with a unique number indicating the source of the leather it’s made from; consumers can look up the number of their purse on Eng’s website to learn its origins. Pricing on the purses is USD 45 each. It’s one thing to craft a product from reclaimed materials, but making those origins traceable by consumers takes the effort to a whole new level. How could your brand turn your sustainable sourcing into a story worth hearing? (Related: One-of-a-kind kids’ clothes, locally made from reclaimed discardsMarketplace for reclaimed building materials tracks each piece’s storyVirgin Atlantic’s seat covers, reborn as bags.) Spotted by: Murray Orange



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