I really needed a new purse, so I popped into tart, one of my favorite local shops. Look what I found! From a distance, it appears to be an elegant modern pieced leather cross-body bag with wonderful orange accent stitching and zipper.
Look again. This clever, affordable number is actually made of recycled bike tubes.
These bags and a line of bike tube wallets are the brainchildren of Donovan Peterson from Missoula, Montana. He was on a quest for a simple wallet, and after trying and discarding several models, happened upon one made of used bike tubes. Without any sewing experience, he made an improved version and also designed a bifold.
Now Donovan is cranking out purses, wallets, messenger bags and dreaming up more through his company Retread, which is dedicated to sustainable goods. Some items are made from bike tire tubes, but others use billboard material and thrift store finds, so 95% of the materials are recycled. The lining of my bag is lovely striped fabric that used to be bedsheets.
I’ve been using my bag for about three weeks now, and I have to say that I love it. It’s the perfect size for my wallet, checkbook and cell phone, plus there’s a neat little pocket to hold my lip balm or lipstick. As a busy, distracted mom of three boys, I’m hard on things, but this good-looking purse seems up to the task. And for $30, the price was definitely right.
Cycle, recycle . . . I’m there.
Broadway messenger bag
interior — recycled fabrics will vary