A capsule collection of leather bags designed from the very beginning with the "second generation" in mind. The pattern of each product can be transformed into a new bag, thereby saving resources and making the most of valuable materials. Based on Circular Economy principles, this project educates consumers about how they can build sustainable relationships with their fashion products. By collaborating with a state-of-art leather goods producer, this project invites traditional craftmanship to the innovative world of sustainability.
As a designer I always focus on creating products that allow users to build an emotional connection with products that reflect their personal values and beliefs. As an advisor for sustainability strategies for fashion and textile companies, I am driven by the vision of disrupting the status quo of standard short-term thinking that destroys our planet and harms people on an everyday basis. I recognized the opportunity in the longevity that leather offers and wanted to explore how this quality can be merged with the concept of continuous transformation of consumer preferences and fashion trends which seemed to be a contradiction at first glance. The challenge had begun!
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
Coming from the perspective of enhancing responsible consumption instead of contributing to endless expansions of fashion landfills, I decided to focus on the idea of an "infinite emotional connection to high value products". The product model was created to mirror the concept of an ever-evolving long-term relationship that constantly reinvents itself and hence stays fresh and exciting throughout your life.From the perspective of circular production strategies, I decided to operationalize "second life patterns" as an innovative way to create patterns that are not meant to fit just one but instead an endless number of products. The main motivation is to extend the lifecycle of original high-value natural resources beyond their first use.
I was convinced from the beginning of the project that effectively integrating these two innovations would contribute to a significant shift in the environmental and social impact of leather products, while at the same time ensuring economic viability of the product. My objective is not to simply create one sustainable product, but to educate consumers by proposing an exciting new way of consuming handbags more consciously that is characterized by a higher level of responsibility for the planet.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
With the vision of creating a bag that could prolong the life/usage of the original input, I started by studying and exploring geometric shapes that would allow me to "unfold" other products from the first product. On the search for patterns that are suitable for multiple products I dove deep into researching sacred geometry and mathematical forms. This study led me to create a strategy that I called "Second Life Patterns", meaning that from the very beginning each bag was designed to serve as a material for other designs.
In the design process, I also considered using alternative resources, e.g. pinapple fiber, and investigated this innovative material in detail and developed a full prototype on that basis. I came to the conclusion that the durability and performance would not allow me to implement my vision without making large compromises in terms of the infinite lifespan of the material. Through this creative process it became clear that leather would be the perfect material since it offers a life time durability and it is biodegradable at the very end of the use cycles.
My project partner Movex is a company that has absolutely experience in luxury bags. Assaad my mentor is a cutting-edge fashion professional, creative and innovative. And Daniel Perez is a fantastic marketing specialist.
It is absolutely amazing to work with professionals that are true experts in their field and are willing to share their visions and ideas in a creative process that cuts across borders, cultures and technical backgrounds to give life to innovative solutions that make the world a better place! I also believe that the collaboration has initiated a process of experimentation and collective learning for everyone involved in the circular bags project.
My vision for the circular bags project is not to simply produce and sell the bags. I see two alternative pathways to use the bags as a starting point for something bigger. I want to market the circular bags project as a in-depth concept for fashion brands that want to develop circular leather products in a highly innovative and unique manner. Ideally, I can identify a brand that wants to take the project as a starting point to develop a new collection or product line that is based on the circular strategy that I applied.
It is absolutely amazing to work with professionals that are true experts in their field and are willing to share their visions and ideas in a creative process that cuts across borders, cultures and technical backgrounds to give life to innovative solutions that make the world a better place! By sharing the design and production journey with likeminded people, I was able to expand my knowledge and see beyond my own limitations. I also believe that the collaboration has initiated a process of experimentation and collective learning for everyone involved in the circular bags project.