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Karlen Swiss: Army recycling

Recycled army bags
What to do with old and used army blankets? Reuse it! Karlen Swiss knows exactly how to do this in a fashionable way:

”In the tiny village of Törbel in canton Valais, a booming cottage industry is churning out fashionable accessories against a backdrop of snowy peaks. Törbel is home to the unique and trendy Swiss Army Recycling Collection of Karlen Swiss; an ensemble of bags, key rings and rucksacks made from old Swiss Army blankets. In a tucked-away workshop six local women buzz away at sewing machines, producing the distinctive brown-grey designs with a red stripe and a white Swiss cross. The Karlen Swiss collection is the brainchild of the freelance designer, Walter Maurer, who has spent more than 30 years as an ethnic designer.” (www.karlenswiss.nl, 2014)

Karlen Swiss bag WD78

Karlen Swiss bag WD78

The collection ranges from bowling bags, laptop bags to pencil cases and phone holders.  Everything is made of old army materials, except for the zips and fasteners and the handles are made of old gun holsters. My personal favorites are the Rug-sack (WD60) and the Messenger Bag Large (WD78). They are a little pricey (85 and 125 Euros), but they’ re handmade, sustainable, unique and your contributing to the important environmental principles: reduce, reuse and recycle. So in that sense, they’ re actually pretty cheap.

– Johanna

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