Jennifer Silbert & Lisa Siedlecki - Rewilder

Finalist of the The KLEAN KANTEEN® Best Green Handbag

United States

2015 Finalist Jennifer Silbert & Lisa Siedlecki Rewilder

Jennifer Silbert & Lisa Siedlecki FINALIST'S PROFILE

What is your bag made out of?
Our primary material is filter cloth from large American breweries, originally used for filtering hops and barley during the manufacturing process. This material is perfect for repurposing as it has strength, beauty, lightness. Every sheet of filter cloth we get is unique, dyed naturally to a particular a"Beer Brindle" color by the hops and barley during its first life in the big brewery. Our handles are made from salvaged climbing ropes collected from local Los Angeles gyms. Both of these materials were en route to the landfill before being transformed into highly crafted, distinctive accessories.

Where do you source your materials?
100% of the materials for Rewilder's Dune tote are salvaged. Our filter cloth is post-industrial, collected from large American breweries. Our climbing ropes are retired after no longer safe for climbing, and we collect them from local gyms.

What is your green design inspiration?
The design of the collection is inspired by the material itself, drawing on its strengths (lightweight, durable, distinctive patina) to make utilitarian pieces that are thoughtful in purpose and design. The different patinas come from filtration of different beers and amber beer leaves a coppery tone, while dark beer leaves a silver-grey tone to the fabric. No two are exactly alike. Our brand revolves around salvage material and thoughtful process, making product that balances elegance with environmental integrity. We handcraft everything in our Los Angeles studio, and are constantly inspired by the incredible natural landscape that surrounds us, and also by the history, culture and industry of the city.

Why would you want to work with KLEAN KANTEEN?
We are passionate about the health and environmental issues surrounding plastic pollution, and feel strongly that our mission aligns with the Kleen Kanteen mission and vision. We want people to think about where materials come from, how they fit into our lives, and where they go in the future. At Rewilder, we stress the importance of being conscious of the true environmental and social cost of making things, and are constantly talking to people about where material comes from as well as the impact that new material has on the earth. Using salvage materials, and re-use in general, greatly reduces environmental demand involved in manufacturing new product. Kleen Kanteen is a leader in the movement to educate consumers and change behavior away from single-use items. As designers we feel responsible for educating people about the things we make and consume. We believe that design is a powerful tool with the ability to influence thoughts and action, and would like the opportunity to work with Kleen Kanteen to continue to push environmental issues through good design.

See other finalists from the 2015 handbag awards