Worn Out Car Upholstery Gets a New Recycled Form: Carryalls

Blown airbags and worn out car upholstery were thought of as useless stuff – until now. Design company Mariclaro is now recycling them into bags and carryalls. Design and application-wise, this can be treated as one among the most innovative recycling techniques during the past 10 years.

Mariclaro’s collection of courier, duffel and laptop bags change with the seasons. Ninety-nine per cent of each bag is made with reused seat belt straps, air bag linings and other found fabrics and notions.

Only the thread and label are new. Small-to-oversized carryalls feature car-seat-sourced panels embossed with Cadillac and Lincoln logos and corners reinforced with bicycle inner tubes.

The idea began in Mexico, and traveled, like the globetrotters who are behind it, to Kingston, Sharbot Lake, and now to Toronto. Like a snowball, the idea grew from a small-time bedroom production to a sustainable design company.

The combination of the unique skills and creative energy of co-founders Sven Schlegel and Willa Murray propels the project. Sven’s natural eye for design and his drive for perfection compliment his background in Planning and Economics.

A combination of excellent sewing skills and a willingness to experiment with materials make Willa an ideal co-founder.

In 2008, Patricia Youn joined the team, adding her skills from her training in Fashion Design and Production.

In 2011, Linsday Sinclair joined the team. The store supplements its bag stock with eco and locally made clothing and accessories by lines like Embody and the Deadly Nightshades.

Mariclaro had received the 2011 National Globe Award, the Honorary Small Business Award for Best Green Consumer Product.

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