rePACK Kickstarter: Custom Bags Made From Recycled Car UpholsteryAuthor:Lindsey Shook
An automotive wrecking yard isn’t the first place you would think of looking for a designer bag, but rePACK founder David Miller-Hershon is literally banking on recycling discarded car interior bits into fashion accessories. With just 10 days left on his fledgling business’ Kickstarter, he has a couple grand to raise to take his idea from the wrecker to the streets of San Francisco.
A year ago, Miller-Hershon made a few backpacks from the seat upholstery of a junked VW Beetle as presents for a couple friends that helped get him a much-needed plane ticket. At the time, the Outer Sunset-born artisan wasn’t really thinking about turning the seats of derelict Cadillacs into wallets and handbags for a living. However, the bags he made for his crew of fellow cyclists were a big hit, and rePACK was born.
In the beginning he had a hard time coming up with what material to use, but he finally settled on car upholstery and interior parts for durability reasons. “If you pay a premium price for something handmade like this, you want it to stand up to 10, 15 years of hard use,” says Miller-Hershon. “It makes sense that car upholstery is up to the task; it can stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it.”
While he readily admits that there is a lot of competition in the messenger bag business in San Francisco, he is not worried about being able to stand out. “I even have a bag from Mission Workshop that I love, but even the most eco-friendly companies don’t make bags using straight-up reclaimed materials, and I’m really proud of doing that,” he says. “Just straight reusing reclaimed materials is the best way to go about recycling, because even the recycling processes manufactured stuff uses takes a lot more energy in the process.” To Miller-Hershon, rePACK bags are more than just a way to carry around your bike lock and a couple of PBRs, because he puts some serious love and thought into everything he makes.
On top of making great use of perfectly good materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, his selection of material assures that each bag is totally unique, even if they are sewn from the same pattern with material from the same model of car. Wear patterns are different, dye lots are different; there is just no way for two to be the same.
If you think that rePACK’s recycled bags can be a hit and you want to try your hand at a little venture capitalizing, hit up its Kickstarter here and make an investment. You’ll score custom-made rePACK goodies for your investment; so don’t worry about walking away with empty hands. Since Kickstarter is the only place to pick up rePACK accessories right now, why not kick in and be the first to hit the block with one of its bags?
Miller-Hershon plans on using the Kickstarter funds to start rePACK’s website, and he hopes to base the business out of San Francisco. “I’m just going to keep hustling and make it happen,” he says.
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