Thursday, 11 March 2010

From ring pulls to a stylish evening bag

I recently spent an evening out with a group of girlfriends, where we were discussing what I was going to wear to the Greenest County awards that are taking place next week.  Although I'd sorted my dress, I hadn't quite got around to thinking about my bag....

Well I've got loads of bags to choose from but it was quickly obvious my Waitrose bag-for-life would be a far too big for the event and my Recycle for Suffolk bag just didn't match my shoes and I do have a Greggs bakery reduce, reuse, recycle one, but it's a bit long on account of accommodating baguettes.

So it's a good job that Fi my friendly fairy godmother waved her magic wand and pointed me in the direction of ring pulls, saying they made beautiful stylish bags.  If I had a few spare I could have thrusted a needle and cotton in her hands to get a demonstration, but she didn't have her magic wand anyway.  Instead, she popped up on Facebook the following day and sent me a link to the wonderful Bottletop site.

Bottletop is a  UK charity that helps to alleviate poverty in developing countries, including providing training and education opportunities for young people as well as trying to address health issues.  The Ring Pull project began in 2007, teaching residents in Brazil how to make beautiful products including bags, belts and purses, out of something that we take for granted and that most people dump in the bin or send for recycling.

But look what a collection of humble ring pulls can be turned into.

Yes, this is indeed my brand new bag that I ordered straight away and which arrived this morning. I  love it, and am now fully prepared for the gala event that is only a week away.

Here's a You Tube video of the Ring Pull project at work in Brazil. For more information about the great work of the Bottletop charity, visit



Celina said...

I love this bag as well! I bought the bigger bellani version and have not stopped wearing it! Well done Bottletop.

lunarossa said...

Looks fab, Karen. Thanks for the suggestion. Ciao. A.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

The very thing Karen - what a fabulous idea and it is so stylish. Hope you have a great time. Are you up for an award? Good luck if so. A x

Marino said...

OMG that bag is styley as! and goes with the current stud accessory trend at the moment too!!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Celina - fabulous to see you on here and I love the bellani one too. It really was a very difficult choice...if I had the cash I could collect them all :-)

Hi Antonella - thank you. I'm most grateful to my friend Fi for the introduction...I think she was tempted by the gorgeous belts :-)

Hi Anne - thank you. Yes I'm up for the communication and events award. It should be a brilliant night and for a change I won't need to travel far :-)

Hi Madz - LOL, indeedy. For once I might just be "bang on trend"...blimey, that'd be a first :-)

maria said...

wow, I love the bag. I am amazed at the beautiful creations you can make out of objects that are usually wasted...and the speed at which those women were knitting the ring pulls takes some serious skill.

Layla said...

WOW, the bags are brilliant!

Just curious if after use the bags can be recycled again? (What kind of thread/wire is used, do they take them back?) And how is this in comparison to recycling the whole tins, re: environmental impact? (Reuse is better, still, recycled cans can be recycled again, no? Just curious!)

The earrings and belts are fabulous too!!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Layla - they are cool aren't they. The thread looks like it's cotton. I'm afraid I don't know if they would take them back, but, the bag is such good quality, that it would be a great product to push through the second hand market. I suppose the real benefit is that the project creates a second use for an existing material helping to fund a very useful social cause. :-)

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I'm really enjoying your blog!

And this bag project is really great. Those women sure can crochet!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Lisa and Robb - thank you for your kind words and for popping by to visit. It really is a fabulous project and despite not winning the award that night, I am dead chuffed with my bag :-D

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