Meet fellow sustainability advocates, Paguro.
By chance I recently met the lovely Yen and fell in love with her bags...and the story behind them. We think you will too. Yen had always been interested in fashion but had become disillusioned with what she saw on the high street. Copious chain stores offering fast fashion and a throwaway culture to match. She longed for a high street which shared her passion for individuality, quality and sustainability.
Whilst traveling in South East Asia, Yen came across Sapu a group of artists based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga. Sapu are a collective of creative people: designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists. Moreover, the members are united by a respect for their natural environment. This is also shown in their desire to make use of the world’s abundant and unwanted man-made materials, transforming these into jewelry and accessories. These Reclaimed Materials can be anything from old tyre inner tubes, army tents, plastic bottles, and magazines, they are not fazed by any material. Instead, they see only the possibility of creating beautiful and stylish upcycled bags, jewelry and accessories.
The bag I bought at The Festival Of Thrift is made from inner tyre tubes, unbelievably soft and proving to be extremely durable. This is the story of my bag and how Sapu expands the life of an old inner tube:
It’s not difficult to find tyre inner tubes in Central Java. They are inside the tyres of buses and trucks, transporting people and goods throughout Indonesia. Sapu have found a ready source of used inner tubes from transport companies in nearby Semarang, just 25km away from their workshop.
Each inner tube is likely to have traveled over 50,000 miles before it reaches the workshop. So, before the collective can get to work on their designs, the first step is to remove 50,000 miles worth of dust.
Although sourced from a single point, the inner tubes are anything but uniform. The reclaimed rubber is differentiated by patterns, printing, and markings. This means that no two Sapu items will ever be identical. Each item is unique.
Whether it be punching the designs into the Kiky bracelets, sewing the seams of the Maggie Messenger Bag or cutting the intricate designs of the Flower Earrings, every Sapu product is made by hand. Each member of the collective is highly skilled in crafting this tough material
From the moment the craftsman picks up his chosen inner tube, to the point the finished article is dispatched, every part of the process takes place in the Salatiga workshop. This means that the collective maintains complete control over the production of their items and can ensure that every piece matches their high standards.
Over the past five years, the collective has recycled 3,660 inner tubes. That represents 12,810 kilograms of rubber which has been diverted away from landfill.
I love my new bag and Jewelry so was delighted when our friends at Preta Muse asked us to collaborate with Paguro for their A/W17 photo shoot.