These Upcycled, Sustainable Designer Bags Are Honestly Better Than the Real Thing
Chiara Rivituso and Matteo Bastiani are the designer duo behind Camera 60, for which they develop leather goods based out of Milan. But once Chiara and Matteo adjusted to their life in lockdown, they decided to refocus their efforts on sustainability in an incredibly smart, stylish way. They caught the eye of fans, designers, and influencers by re-imaging iconic luxury handbags with upcycled materials — including everything from an Oreo cookie box to an Amazon Prime envelope.
"This upcycle project started a couple of years ago. It was all about experimentation and making bags from unusual materials. We made a capsule collection using grocery shopping bags — our intention was to reuse plastic in a different way. During the lockdown we felt it was time to share our ideas. We started making bags with all the materials we had available at home [waste packaging and other materials like paper, plastic, and boxes] and posted them on Instagram to communicate our vision of a more sustainable environment. We'd like to inspire people to create rather than waste and we'd like to encourage brands to embrace this vision," Chiara told POPSUGAR.
We were so inspired by Chiara and Matteo's efforts that we asked them to show us the start-to-finish process of creating a bag, and they fashioned an exclusive design just for us: the Balenciaga Hourglass bag using DHL plastic envelopes. "It's like a Demna Gvasalia 'back to the roots' piece and we love the idea that it could be very actual and effective. The connection with DHL was automatic and unavoidable!" Chiara said of the bag, which, you'll find, has a "POPSUGAR" label hidden on the interior lining when you scroll.
Ahead, check out the steps in Chiara and Matteo's careful construction, along with some of our other favorite bags they've made in the past months. You may automatically assume they get contacted by fans and followers who want to purchase their sustainable bags on the regular, and you'd be right. As for whether or not Chiara and Matteo have personal favorites, Chiara said it's "always the last one we made!" So I guess for now, the POPSUGAR x Balenciaga x DHL bag reins supreme. We're totally not complaining.