Recycling tyres isn’t anything new to me. Before blogging and my current career in higher education, I used to be an outdoor play specialist. This involved running outdoor play sessions and supporting schools and nurseries to develop their outdoor play provision. One of the things I always suggested was to introduce loose parts play. Loose parts are basically any object which doesn’t have an obvious play purpose. For example sticks, cardboard boxes, blankets and tyres which force the children to get creative and use their imaginations. So whilst I love recycled tyres as play things I’ve never really thought about them as something you could wear. Until now that is. I’ve recently discovered not one but two great ethical brands doing amazing things with old tyres. And I’m not talking building a den out of them.Upcycling waste into fashion isn’t new but it can be so hard to get right. I’m sure you’ve seen amazing pieces made out of old bottles and bin bags. But would you actually wear any of them? You hardly ever see something you would actually wear. As you know I’m a huge advocate of having a wardrobe which works for your lifestyle so whilst that bin bag dress is stunning I’m not going to wear it to Tesco for the weekly shop am I. But I think the accessories shown in this post get it so right. Everything is totally wearable and I would happily be seen in the local Tesco wearing them. And I guess that’s the true sign of a great piece. One you want to wear on even the most mundane days.
But these pieces are more than just beautiful and practical they are helping to tackle a very real environmental issue. Scrap tyres are a huge problem around the world clogging up landfills. It takes around 50-70 years for a car tyre to decompose. So anything we do to keep them out of our landfills is a good idea. The rubber used to make tyres is actually a great substitute for leather. In fact, it’s a good bit tougher than leather and naturally, water proof so will last for years and years. Up-cycling tyres is eco-friendly, sustainable and vegan-friendly which makes you wonder why we don’t see more of it.
Lost in Samsara create a wide range of accessories all made from up-cycled materials. The bag shown in this post is one of their items made from old car tyres. Crafted by skilled artisans in Cambodia this is a perfect everyday bag. It’s big enough to fit pretty much everything you need on a day to day basis including a laptop. With the rubber being water proof that laptop is going to be safe in all weather. This bag feels like it will last forever and unlike my leather bags doesn’t need any special treatment. I could throw this around and it will still look great. In case you’re wondering the bag did have that car tyre smell when it first arrived. However, I aired it outside for a couple of hours and the smell has all pretty much disappeared. You can buy the bag from Lost in Samsara here.
Laura Zabo is a London based designer who works exclusively with old bike tyres. All of her designs are environmentally friendly and vegan-friendly (no nasty glues used here). If you didn’t know better you really wouldn’t believe some of her pieces are made from bike tyres. Her curly wurly jewellery range (necklace and earrings featured in this post) is stunning and such a creative use of scrap tyres. They are also comfortable to wear and would look stunning as a statement pieces on a night out. And would be a great talking point. You can buy the necklace here and the earrings here.
The belt shown in this post is another Laura Zabo piece and is a great alternative to a leather belt. In fact, when my husband saw it, he asked straight away if she does men’s sizes (which she does by the way). And trust me it’s not often he shows an interested in the things I’m sent. I think these would make ideal gifts for the cyclists in your life. You can find the full range of belts here.
* Disclaimer – I was gifted all of the products featured in this post. As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.