It is small, independent companies like SF bay area-based Escama (fish scales in Portugese) that are making a global impact. They partnered up with two woman’s cooperatives in Brasília, Brasil to provide jobs to women in economically challenged communities, who take much pride in creating handbags from recycled materials.

Escama offers three supple and leightweight pull tab variations, a shoulder bag, a cosmetic bag and the pictured messenger bag in 7 colors. All bag’s insides are made from high quality nylon liner. The full shiny weave collection is only available in Cali retail stores, while Hip & Zen sell the shoulder bag and the cosmetic bag online for $80 and $28, respectively. Head over to Escama’s web site for more information about their program.

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • tim

    thise are freaking awesome, i love it when they take everyday junk and make it into a fashion statement.

  • billyjoe

    i agree…

  • mack

    how many pop tabs it usually takes to make a messenger bag? Recently ive seen these alot of places. and they all seem to have different colors..tho i seem to like the all silver one best….but i cant seem to understand how these bags are constructed and dont fall apart…can u tell me? I really want one but i dont want it to break apart….
    Thanks so much!!!

  • anne


    Is there a place where to bay these pull tabs.

  • I have two purses, and have never gotten more complements on anything I have ever owned before! The silver with green thread was my first. Awesome and unlined. So it is great for the beach. The other is a rainbow colored one which is lined, and very very funky. Unbelievably lightweight. Great idea!

  • Jute and Jackfruit

    Aren’t these bags amazing? Using recycled pop tabs is so innovative– who knew something that would otherwise be garbage could make such a chic purse? And what a conversation piece! It’s no wonder these bags garner so many compliments. Kudos to Escama for empowering Brazilian women and making a real difference in the fashion world and beyond. If you like these and want to see more of these eco-chic bags – and help support Escama’s cause – visit!

  • Tammy

    Where can you buy them??

  • Naggy

    I wouldn’t wear these for free. (ipad)

  • KY

    Looks funny, but I wouldn’t wear these bags. (ipad)