Leather Handbags Are Actually Made From Recycled Conveyor Belts
Kazmok transforms industrial waste into luxury products.
At first glance, the above photo looks like a well crafted leather briefcase. When we saw these bags at the GOED event at Ggrippo art+design in Williamsburg, Brooklyn during NYCxDesign, that was our impression. But in fact, these leather-looking goods are made of a material you’d never suspect — recycled industrial conveyor belts previously used at shipping warehouses, postal services, flower distribution centers, and recycling facilities.
Kazmok is a line of stylish and durable bags and accessories developed by Amsterdam-based industrial designer Dinand Stufkens. Motivated to try and produce a premium looking product out of a discarded industrial material, Dinand hoped to offer an elegantly designed bag that as a bonus, keeps waste out of landfills.
The process for making the bags starts with transferring the used belts from the distribution facilities to Kazmok’s workshop. Once there, they are cleaned by a method similar to a professional car wash with biodegradable soap. Usable sections of the belts, free from holes and excessive surface damage, are then trimmed and sent to a handcrafting facility in the Czech Republic which has a 20+ year history of producing luxury leather goods.
Finished products range from briefcases and luggage to iPad cases and belts. Dinand says he intends to continue to broaden the line of products but that he sees the best opportunities in making higher end, premium goods. Beyond the considered design of Kazmok products, they are obvious conversation pieces which elevate a throwaway material to luxury status.
Photos: Dave Pinter, Kazmok