Why you won't see us using mushroom or pineapple leather anytime soon!

Why you won't see us using mushroom or pineapple leather anytime soon!

Why do we need to invent new fabrics, if we have so much waste?

Having more than 20 years of experience in the bag-making industry, I've found myself thinking the following: Why do we need to invent new fabrics, if we have so much waste? 

Sure there are lots of alternative leathers and "eco fabrics" being created like mushroom leather, or cactus leather, but after thinking it through, the fashion industry certainly doesn't need to manufacture MORE materials.  There is so much pre-consumer (before the product is even made) waste in garment manufacturing, so why are we inventing new materials that will also create scrap waste?  We cant "science" or hack our way out of climate change by making new things. . .so why not use gorgeous, durable materials that already exist?

That's the main reason exactly why I'm so happy to be partnered with FabScraps initiative to source a lot of the leather, fabric, and webbing for our upcycled bags and straps there.  You may have already seen the blog post I wrote about Why FabScrap is totally Fab, but the TLDR is this:

Why I love designing with materials from FabScrap is because most of the materials are exclusive designs that pass directly from Italian fabric mills to high-end designers. These materials are rare and special and literally the only piece of fabric in the world like it. And if a brand decides to not use the print or color combination, (which is about 80% of all fabric and leather swatches sourced during the initial design process!) that large swatch would be discarded in the trash. . .And that's where FabScrap comes in! 

Crystalyn Kae studio filled with fabrics to upcycle

How to give life to discarded fabrics?

Today I'm so pleased to share that FabScrap is also keeping Crystalyn Kae bags in mind! Namely Driving Change is a website sharing compelling stories about people engaging effectively in public service, and identifying and campaigning for the changes needed in how public service is done to make it attractive to people who are currently disengaged from it. 

Their platform is featuring FabScraps founder Jessica Schreiber's story, who gives new life to discarded fabrics.

On the first hand, it’s a great explanation of how FabScrap works. For example, did you know:

"Last year, some 44,000 pounds of fabric were redistributed across 49 states (45% of this was sold online) with 76% of the usable fabric they received sold. About half that (22,000 pounds) was recycled."


Image of fabrics waiting to be upcycled


What about leather scraps? 

Yes they have leather scraps as well. And many details for Crystalyn Kae bags have come true thanks to findings on FabScrap! Here's a good overview about why should one use leather scraps and upcycled leather in the first place. And how can one make bags out of leather scraps?

Leather scraps

How is Crystalyn Kae using FabScrap?

As mentioned in the article, and explained longer on our sustainability mission page, we love sourcing our supplies from FabScrap. Upcycling fabric leftovers and creating new purses out of them is part of Crystalyn Kae's story.

Take a look, how our design process can look like:


Take a look of different upcycled bags from our website:

Small Troubadour tote from recycled materials
Crossbody bags from recycled fabrics
Laptop tote from recycled materials
Flowery pouch from upcycled fabrics


Write in the comments below if you've ever created anything from scrap fabric!


  • Larissa P

    I’ve always been interested in alternative leathers because I’ve always thought of them as “sustainable.” I never once stopped to think about how they’re still creating more waste! You make such an excellent point! It’s so refreshing to see how much thought you put into creating sustainable, long-lasting purses!

  • Monique M

    It’s so incredible that 44,000 pounds of fabric were redistributed across the states in a year! It’s little facts like this that make me hopeful for the future of the fashion industry. I think you have an amazing mission and passion for handcrafted, sustainable bags! Keep spreading the love with your beautiful handbags!

  • Amber W

    What a wonderful article! I love that you included a video showing what your design process can look like. Such a thoughtful touch!

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