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By Diane Small
What does a hermit crab have in common with a handbag?
Well, for one, the crab takes something empty that was once used as something else and makes it useful for itself. The eco-vegan brand, Pagoru, takes its inspiration from this little creature’s ‘upcycling’ habits to make stylish accessories created from materials that once served another purpose.
British retailer Paguro, so-called as it is another name for the hermit crab, ensures all of the bags and jewellery it carries are completely eco-friendly and vegan. Many of their accessories, such as the bracelets created by the Sapu creative collective, seem to have the same weight and texture as leather, but are actually made from upcycled inner tubes and plastics.
Based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga, the Sapu collective is comprised of local designers, artists, craftsmen and recyclists, most of whom originate from central Java or Australia. Through their work, they see the chance to ‘inspire people to live a more sustainable way of life and to care for their own environment’. By working in the way it does, the Sapu collective hopes to ‘inspire environmental change by changing the attitudes and behaviour of all those who come into contact with a Sapu product’.
But Sapu is not the only brand carried by Paguro: Cambodian based Smateria aims to improve the lives of the local community through employing them to create crocheted and woven handbags.
The brainchild of two Italian entrepreneurs, Smateria’s upcycled materials include mosquito nets, old motorcycle seats and plastic bags strewn on the streets, which are used to create brilliantly intricate accessories with pops of vibrant colour. The Brain, Track and Loop bags are particularly high on our ‘must have’ lists here at Eluxe! We love the complex crochet work combined with the pops of colour, and would love to see an Arabesque theme in upcoming collections. Perhaps the Desert Crab could provide some inspiration?
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