Sustainable tote and pouch range launches in Australia

Homewares design label Carrol Boyes has recently partnered with South African brand The Joinery to create a new collection of unique tote bags and felt pouches.

Each handmade tote and pouch is made from recycled plastic bottles―a total of 7,000 bottles were used for the creation of 2,000 products.

Forty per cent of rubbish is going into landfills every year, so there’s never been a more crucial time to find alternatives to single-use plastic and explore the potential of proactive change through design, says Caryn Hanley, director of Carrol Boyes Australia.

“We are thrilled to be introducing this sustainable product line to Australia,” she says.

“Sustainable fashion and homewares are the way of the future, and we are proud to be involved in an initiative that benefits the environment and creates employment whilst still providing stylish products for our customers.”

Boyes, and hence the company, has always had an ethos driven by a sincere commitment to the betterment and welfare of individuals in the community and workplace, explains Hanley.

“The Joinery was a natural fit as it is focused on finding sustainable solutions to environmental and community issues through design and product development. All their products are made by local artisans and sewing co-operatives based in and around informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa creating employment and contributing to the textile economy.”

While it may seem a bit of a departure from its core range, Boyes is always trying to find ways to improve the environment around her and make a difference in the community.

“Carrol Boyes is at its heart a gifting company and in recent years has expanded into textiles, home fragrances, wine and even chocolates. These bags are a great addition to the range, tick all the boxes from an ethical perspective and are also each printed with one of her trademark ‘Sketchbook’ design on both sides.”

The decorative multipurpose tote is perfect for everyday use such as daily grocery shopping, on-board plane travel, to transport or for beach days. The pouch is ideal for small makeup products, stationery items, or to keep chargers safe.  With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the range additionally serves as a perfect gift for hard working mums, says Hanley.

“The bags and pouches in this range are all solid and sturdy. Every one of them has a label inside stating exactly how many plastic bottles were used in the making of that one item. True to Carrol’s style, the designs are unique, distinctive and make both a fashion statement and an ethical one.

“One just has to look at social media or walk through any retail centre to see the extent to which Aussies are increasingly becoming committed to sustainable products and intolerant of plastic in particular. Apart from the fact that the bags are unique and very functional, they are allowing people to extend their commitment to sustainability beyond just using recyclable bags and coffee cups into other areas of their daily lives―and be fashionable too.”

Feedback to the new range, which officially launched in Australia a few weeks ago, has been quite overwhelming says Hanley, and not just from Carrol Boyes customers.

“People love the designs and of course the story behind the range is such a positive one that there is a great feel-good aspect to owning one of the bags.”

By Marion Gerritsen

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