Mestiza is a small brand founded by textile artist Rosa Arena, graphic designer Irene Guntsche and entrepreneur Maria Sarobe, whose main product is a line of bags from repurposed lycra remaining from a tights factory.
Each bag is hand woven with a technique similar to loom and then complimentary parts such as clasps or handles are added, but most of the pieces are constituted by lycra remains. The model from the picture has different uses by changing the length of the strap. Prices start at 60 Argentine pesos, which is about 20 US dollars.
More info and pictures in the extended!Rosa Arena, who has a background working with industrial remains in her art, says: "I got involved in eco-design because it scared me to see the amount of materials we throw away, how little eco conscience we have, and how the over-consuming trend leads to disaster."
After working for three years in the design department of a tights company, Arena had witnessed how many lycra remains were thrown away and along with Guntsche and Sarobe came up with the first bags during the last Argentine summer (January-February 2007).
They started selling in small fairs and then the first big request came: well known Argentine fashion label Las Pepas asked for a set of bags for their collection. In order to produce those, Mestiza turned to a group of women in need, which added to the responsibility of their project in the social field.
For future collections, the brand will incorporate re-purposed leather and is aiming to expand its territory of action. Its founders have already sold samples to foreign retailers and are in talks to start selling in the United States and Europe. If you're interested, see more at their website or contact them via mestiza_eco [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] ar. ::Mestiza
Detail of the woven lycra.
Another view of the bag in use.
Different models of 'Mestiza' bags.