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Old Leather Sofas Turned Into Handbags

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

An Englishwoman is turning old leather sofas into beautiful handbags as a way to save them from the landfill - and they're flying off the shelves.


Collection of upcycled leather hand bags
Credit: New Baginnings

Lisa Crick gets the pre-loved furniture and curtains donated to her for free, and she upcycles the good parts into totes, messenger bags, and luggage. She tries to use every part of the furniture that she can, even giving away the cushion stuffing for free to people for use as dog beds or to stop window drafts. “I am passionate about waste and conscious of how much we do waste,” said the 53-year-old who calls her recycling enterprise New Baginnings. “When I see people with my bags I get such a sense of pride.”


She sells her totes on a website and in a pop-up store in Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire, England, for anywhere between £25 to £200 and says “the sofa bags are flying off the shelves”.


Lisa tried her hand at sewing in 2018 when her husband, Dave, asked what she was going to do with the waste material from old curtains they had replaced.


“I just said ‘I’ll make luggage’,” she recalled. “Never in a million years did I think I’d be here.”


She estimates she has saved 20 sofas from the landfills over the last 16 months, and sews 6 to 10 leather bags weekly to sell from her website - and each bag comes with a label to tell you what it was in its previous life.


“I’m so proud of the bags I produce. It’s not about the money for me. I really enjoy what I do.”

 

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