The bags are sold under the tagline “We hope this brand ceases to exist after 10 years”.

There are many factors that contribute to environmental damage, but one of the more nefarious culprits is plastic. Omnipresent in grocery store aisles, furniture, toys and even fashion, plastic is easy to manufacture and hard to break down once it’s been used. Japan has an especially stubborn plastic problem, due to companies’ proclivity for individually wrapping packaged goods and then using even more plastic to post them off — and you’re bound to see tons of plastic every time a rain shower hits in the form of a sea of vinyl umbrellas.

The cheaper umbrellas tend to break fast and easily, meaning there’s a huge pile-up of abandoned plastic umbrellas that Japan has to deal with. A Japanese company, Mondo Design, has launched a new brand named Plasticity which will take these cast-off umbrellas and grant them a new lease of life as fashionable tote bags and pouches.

▼ The bags can be bought as pochettes…

▼ Or tote bags in large or small sizes.

The manufacturing process is specifically engineered to keep down waste, and involves disassembling the umbrella, washing it thoroughly and then folding and pressing the layers of the umbrella fabric atop of itself in such a manner that it creates an effect akin to frosted glass.

Once the bag is stitched into shape, it carries a striking, crackling pattern inside its layers that almost looks like trickling rain.

▼ The company even calls this pattern “glass rain”, and its easy to see why.

The smallest of the bags, the pochette, costs 8,000 yen (US$74.276), while the tote bag costs 10,000 yen for a medium size and 13,000 yen for a large size. However the durability of these bags, their unique pattern and their environmental message means that buying one will last far, far longer than any 500 yen umbrella, and with a much more evergreen application than certain other uses we’ve seen for discarded plastic.

Source, images: @Press
Related: Plasticity
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