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2 upcycled vegan leather bags by Sans Beast and IntoCarry

INSPIRATION: FROM TRASH TO TREASURE - THE BEAUTY OF UPCYCLED FASHION

By Jennifer Wills

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We would never call a Sans Beast bag trash - even though the wordplay of trash to treasure is admittedly appealing.

However the reality is handbags get damaged + break, construction by human hands is at times imperfect, and innovation is required to turn them back into treasure + kept out of landfill. 

 

Upcycled vegan leather handbags from Sans Beast and IntoCarry

 

 

Handbags that are well-constructed from quality materials + treated with care can last a long time. When minor things go wrong, we repair everything we can - from minor stitching repairs, to reattaching screws, freshening up a loved yet scuffed bag with shoe polish + reapplying edgepaint where possible.

But what to do when a bag is no longer able to be repaired, when it's beyond rescuing? We don't give up on them + send them to landfill: we embrace the beauty of upcycled fashion.

Upcycling takes items that would otherwise be thrown away + reimagines them into something new. And rather than a limitation, a focus on sustainable practices + using existing materials in a new way inspires more creative solutions.

We started small with upcycling + continue to grow our projects to match our ambitious goals. Here's our upcycled fashion journey so far.

 

The process of upcycling a Sans Beast vegan leather handbag with IntoCarry

 

Reconfiguration

In October 2022 we worked with RMIT School of Fashion + Textiles on 'Reconfiguration', a project where honours students worked to deconstruct broken or faulty Sans Beast bags and transform them into works of art.

It inspired broad + bold thinking from the students to imagine + create something radically different from existing materials, and it was exciting to see such creativity from future fashion industry stars.

 

4 image grid of Sans Beast vegan leather handbags used as part of the RMIT Reconfiguration project

 

Fashion Revolution

We've long been fans of Into Carry, a truly innovative Melbourne manufacturing business that creates bags, glasses cases, vests + more using materials such as sneakers, promotional banners + even milk cartons. Into Carry also run classes on sewing, repairing + upcycling, teaching a keen audience something akin to the 'make do and mend' philosophy of old.

In April 2023 we handed over an assortment of broken Sans Beast bags + the team at Into Carry created two one-of-a-kind bags in their signature shape and construction. We auctioned them off on Instagram to raise funds for Fashion Revolution and received an overwhelming response.

2 vegan leather handbags made by IntoCarry using Sans Beast bags.

 


Only two pieces had been created - and we were inundated with requests for more. We knew we had to make our next project with Into Carry even bigger.

 

Sans Beast X Into Carry 

Enter Melbourne Fashion Week 2023 and the launch of two Sans Beast X Into Carry workshops, teaching dozens of participants how to deconstruct bags + conceptualise their own bespoke pouch made from Sans Beast materials.

Attendees mixed fabric, straps + hardware from a variety of broken Sans Beast bags to create their own designs on Into Carry's template - and after sewing was completed at Into Carry, these beauties were ready for a new home. It was two huge sessions of creative energy + we're eager for more.

A variety of vegan leather handbags + fabrics at an upcycling fashion workshop, held by Sans Beast and IntoCarry

 

We'll continue to expand our upcycling projects in future seasons, inspired + driven by the recognition that 'throwing away' simply means moving something from place to place - there is no 'away'.

There is only what we have produced + the responsibility to keep using it, in one form or another.

 

XO,

Studio Sans Beast

 

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