Sheila Odessey Creates Fashionable Handbags from Discarded Plastic Bags
Shockingly, Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags a year, despite those ultra trendy reusable totes. And of those 100 billion, only 1% are reused. Not to mention, that's in America alone - global consumption of plastic bags is estimated to be 1 million bags per minute. In regards to plastic bags and their effects on the earth, designer Sheila Odessey intends to make an impact with her purses made from "upcycled" plastic bags. When Sheila learned it costs more to recycle a plastic bag than it does to create one (which is why they generally end up in landfills), the self-proclaimed scavenger/hoarder decided to put them to good use - fashion. She claims her solution to the plastic bag problem is to, "turn this trash into trendy textiles."
"This Bag is Not a Toy" Clutch: by Sheila Odessey
Her "Trashy to Trendy" signature collection includes handbags, clutches, cosmetic bags, totes, and satchels. These purses are made from a wide variety of plastic bags including dry cleaner bags, produce bags, shopping bags, as well as boutique bags. According to her site (from which you can order the bags) The plastic bags Sheila uses are cut into small strips, then hand-woven into the fabric of the bag to make "eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind bags and totes." The result is a vintage, raffia-woven, heirloom look.
The Handweaving Process Used for making Sheila Odyssey's Purses
Unfortunately, because the bags are all hand-woven and entirely unique, Sheila's bags don't come cheap. Prices average about $150. However, a wide variety of bags are available for the eco-conscious, trendsetter willing to spend the extra dough on a green fashion statement. From the "urban messenger bag" to the "Autumn Mist Clutchlett" (both pictured below), there's something here for every fashion need.
Urban Messenger Bag: by Sheila Odessey
Autumn Mist Clutchlette: by Sheila Odessey
Design director Susan Wexler says about her bag, "It really is a conversation piece as I always make sure to explain its provenance and how it's made. Not only is the design and quality fabulous, I love that I helped to save a few plastic bags from spending eternity in some landfill."
Each bag has a "distinctive design and novel texture," which is created by weaving various colors, graphics, thickness, stiffness, and texture of individual plastic bags into the cloth of the handbag. Since each purse is handmade, they will each be entirely unique as strip size will vary as well as the weaving style of its creator.
Sheila Odessey Juggling Her Favorite Medium: Plastic Bags!
Why do I always find the best gifts after Christmas?
Another Adorable Clutch Made from Plastic Bags: by Sheila Odessey
Sources: Trend Hunter and Bag Bunch