Be For Change

upcycle

BFC Woven Leather Tote, in collaboration with Aurélie Fontan

Upcycled Leather GoodsAna CarneiroComment

There’s a new bag in London town!

Woven-leather-bag-in-London.JPG

Earlier in the year I shared with you that I have been receiving some alarmingly large pieces of leather meant for landfill. These hides often have a few large cut outs, but are mostly untouched due to the presence of defects: scars, variances in colour and grain, etc.

Here’s my reaction, just in case you fancied seeing my scared face!

 
IMG_4761.jpg
IMG_4756.jpg
 

Beautiful and tactile, our new upcycled leather woven tote bags are finally launching to the public!

These launched for the first time earlier this month at Top Drawer London, where they gathered a whole lot of attention from buyers from all over the country - and even a sneaky shop from Scotland!

The larger pieces of leather we receive are being lasercut and woven into these bags, with supply dictating how many bags we have available at any one time. These are soft and pliable, lighter than you might expect, and super easy-going. Grab it on your way out of the house, or use it as part of your decor.

The pattern is striking, the colours are timeless: this attention grabbing bag will never go out of fashion! It has been designed in collaboration with designer Aurelie Fontan. And with each bag being ethically handmade and saving 4410 square centimetres from going to waste, you can truly feel good about your purchase.

 
 

Each bag requires almost 5 hours of labour, making it by far the most time consuming product we have launched yet. I’m looking to produce some better quality footage of the different steps of production to show you very soon!

In the meantime, the bags are now available for pre-order (until the end of September), at which point they will launch at their retail price - and pre-orders will ship out to our first buyers!!! Very exciting times, which I will make sure to post about on our Instagram channel (which you should definitely be following if you aren’t already ;)

I would love to hear your thoughts on this product! Do you love it? Not really? Leave me your opinions in the comments so I can keep on creating the products you are interested in - and save even more leather from an untimely trip to the landfill!

Ana xx

New Leather Goods

War on WasteAna CarneiroComment
leather_drinks_coaster

Now that I've got your attention ;)

I recently posted about being given some leather to experiment with, to test the feasibility of using scraps of leather from the automotive industry to make new products with. You can read all about that here. Now I'm answering that question: yes, it is feasible. In fact, it worked perfectly for homewares.

Once I got over my initial repulsion to the leather (because I've mostly given up leather unless I previously owned it, it is not aligned with my values), I quickly got into the rhythm of quite enjoying working with it. Initially I was attempting to make a rug... and while I still love the idea of it, my crafts skills just didn't live up to the challenge. So I turned directions, and created the three products in this post instead.

They are all made from scrap leather off-cuts, and to best make use of the material properties of leather I decided to make the kind of products that I hope you guys will love and want to keep for a really long time.

First up are drinks coasters, by far the easiest and therefore most affordable items that we're launching. They'll be up on the shop as soon as there are a few more sets finished, and I'm looking to potentially collaborate with a lettering artist who can customize them. (If you know of anyone London based who might be interested, let me know!)

Second on the list, beautiful and dainty leather bags for the home. These are made from long yet relatively narrow off-cuts sewn together. What I really enjoy about these bags is just how adaptable they are: you can turn them inside out, fold a cuff to show both sides of the leather, use them for just about anything from keeping frequently used items to displaying your favourite plants in. Amazing feedback has already been coming in on these, which will be made on request for the time being.

The third and more expensive item on the list is the leather cushion. It has leather on one side and swede on the other, it is incredibly hard wearing and much comfier than I expected. It beautifully displays the material. It really does have the feel of a luxurious product. I've only made one so far - and that is because my cute little home-sewing-machine is just not strong enough for me to be sewing through 3 layers of leather... So, again, if you know a skilled leather worker who might be interested in partnering up for this product, let me know!

So, what do you think? Would you buy them? Do you know of potential retailers?

This is my first time creating and launching homewares with Be For Change, so any advice and feedback will be most appreciated!

PS: backdrop and beautiful cocktails kindly provided by Qbic Hotel

upcycled_coasters
upcycled_leather_bag
toiletries_leather_bag.jpg
leather_cushion.jpg
sustainable_leather_cushion.jpg
leather_plant_pot
sustainable_leather_homewares
ethical_leather_homewares

Wood Veneer Tags

Bag For ChangeAna Carneiro
upcycled sustainable wooden tags

We have new bag tags!

Now shipping with every order, our tags are 100% natural.

Starting with beautiful veneer scraps donated by a woodworking workshop, which we cut, stamped and hole-punched by hand and in-house (we do love our share of the action!). On the reverse you'll find tidbits of information printed on recycled paper. It's all bound together with jute string. That's it! No glue or any other unnecessary stuff. And we've been taking home any tags we mess up to use as book markers, 'cause they're too pretty to be trashed :D

Have you made a recent purchase and received one? Share your photos/thoughts using #BFCwoodtag

Why we up-cycle

Bag For ChangeAna Carneiro
Up-cycling - the creation of value in a product or material without breaking it down

After years in the shadows of recycling, we say it's high time that up-cycling got it's share of the limelight! It has gotten a bad rep after years of association with shabby DIY tutorials but, really, up-cycling can be great! 

To start with, it is less energy and resource intensive than recycling - it is actually closer to Reuse than Recycle if you think back to the 3Rs policy. That has been part of the reason why many individuals and companies have stayed away from it: we live in a culture that values what's new above almost all else. But what is new and what is old? For example, is the fabric used in last season's fashion collection old, despite having been produced less than 2 years ago and still having 30 or more years of optimal performance when stored under the right conditions? When putting such perceptions and facts side by side, I often find myself amazed at how the last decades of fast-consumerism made us loose perspective.

Secondly, products with heritage have been gaining traction. We've seen a number of brands show us how their products go through the hands of skilled craftsman and romanticise the notions of savoir faire and slowing down for the things that matter. We fully support this direction, but as you may have noticed, more often than not, products with a story are overpriced and not necessarily sustainable. We want to create products which have heritage and sustainability not only at the core of their manufacture, but also their material sourcing. By using materials which were going to be thrown away, the story of our products starts even before their production.

By sourcing materials from partnering companies, we get only the small amount they no longer have use for. This both reflects itself in high-quality materials at a low price and in a very limited amount of each piece. We actually couldn't make more of a product if we wanted to!, just more of the same model in other materials.