English RetreadsSince Earth Day is upon us, let’s take a few minutes to think about what the future of eco-friendly fashion might be. Low-chemical tanning and hand-woven materials are all well and good, but there are a lot of smaller companies out there with new ideas and fresh takes on what exactly constitutes suitable handbag-making materials.

A company called English Retreads is pioneering the idea of taking used and recycled “vintage” rubber to make handbags with a tough, industrial edge. My favorite is the English Retreads Cruiser, a black hobo made out of reclaimed rubber from old inner tubes. It’s got a minimalist but edgy vibe to it, and the material makes it stand out from other bags. It’s certainly a far cry from the designer bags that you and I are familiar with, but it doesn’t lack style. Techniques and sourcing strategies like the ones used in this bag have yet to make their way into high-end bags, but things like these usually flow from a niche market to a more mainstream fascination, and you never know what may be around the corner from your favorite designer.
Buy through eBags for $49.99.

  • mette

    I like it. The simple shape is elegant. Great for rainy days :)

  • dela

    When I saw this picture I thought they had made leather look like rubber. Using rubber is a great idea and this looks stylish.
    My funny concern: Rubber products tend to leave bitterness on your fingers and you must constantly wash your hands esp. before snacking.

  • Cherie L.

    the bag is genius, looks gorgeous.i just hope they something with the strong rubber smell

  • Cathy

    Considering all of the good karma points this bag is attempting to garner, the price is ridiculous. Incredible!

  • alexis

    I like the industrial quality of some of the other bags they offer. I think it’s a good idea as long as it doesn’t smell and the rubber doesn’t dye clothes.

  • Otter

    Yuck.

  • Allison

    I remember rubber bags being en vogue about 20 years ago. Talk about recycling. :)