Earlier this year, we were very excited to get an email from the Whitworth Art Gallery. They approached us to collaborate on a project for their gift shop, repurposing their archive of banners they had in storage. They wanted to keep these textiles out of the landfill, and you KNOW we were in as soon as we read that!

Holly Shuttleworth, one of the producers of Economics the Blockbuster, originally contacted us because the focus of this exhibition was the economy, different working structures (such as coops like us), and looking at ways of creating sustainable incomes. They were hoping to reuse the banners from this exhibition. Together with the Whitworth Art Gallery shop, we were able to expand this to manage textile waste from previous exhibitions as well. This first collection is recycled from a banner for the exhibition Althea McNish, Colour is Mine.

We developed a tote bag design, inspired by the structured qualities of the banner textile. It’s boxy at the bottom, to give it a great structure, it’s durable, with reclaimed straps, and it fits everything you need out and about. There’s even an inside pocket, to save you from losing your keys at the bottom. We basically designed the type of tote bag we’d love to use everyday. Check them out in the Whitworth Art Gallery shop. Each one is unique, featuring part of a design from a one-off Whitworth exhibition banner, and we’ll be updating the collection with new banner designs at a sustainable rate. 

By upcycling these vinyl exhibition banners we and the Whitworth have diverted textiles from landfill and saved approximately 82kg of C02.

Pop into the Whitworth Art Gallery, and check us out in the gorgeous gift shop!