Can a statement bag get filled with eco-conscious dreams in a sustainable journey based on the use of the existing? In the spirit of Istituto Marangoni’s ethos of reusing and recycling, a fashion re-innovation project was born around an iconic bag aiming to use recyclable materials and turn unused items into design treasures.
Since one of Istituto Marangoni’s main objectives is to provide students with exclusive projects to enhance their studies, here is the collaboration activity that the Shanghai campus launched with the Italian luxury leather goods brand Furla.
Design students were involved in the Re-candy bag project, which stands for innovation and sustainability: recycled materials are reused creatively with cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.
The students’ works were exhibited in the Furla VR Store inside the T-Mall and on Taobao, the Alibaba group’s leading e-commerce platforms.
Of course, the theme of fashion sustainability is the guiding philosophy of Furla, a brand that has always been committed to environmental sustainability.
Let us now go into detail: what materials did the students use, and where did they get the inspiration for their bags? Here is a rundown of the powerful ideas presented by our best up-and-coming talents.
Gears of the Times by Wang Ruiting
Social media and electronic devices have significantly entered our life and are being used more than ever. It seems that we have entered the era of Metaverse ahead of time, and various data transmission tools, such as gears existing in this digital age, could be what links us with the world.
In designing my Furla Candy bag, I was inspired by the colours in the paintings of Italian futurist painter Fortunato Depero. Iused recycled leather coated with metallic colours to make collages. The whole design is full of colour.
My desire was to make bags as environmentally friendly as possible; my forced life at home led me to find some discarded data cables and pins I used in high school, which I dismantled from old sneakers. I used the shoelaces to disassemble, weave, and reorganise the Candy Bag, and the pendant of the bag is the floppy disk (now disappeared from our lives but replaced by data cloud space). I want to evoke the past through these objects and reflect on the possibility of future technology changing our lives.
Time Fragments by Liu Luyao
I drew inspiration from porcelain restoration techniques, based on the original intention of restoration, to achieve a means of highlighting brokenness.
The balance between imperfection and perfection creates a unique time-lapse beauty where everything fades and dissipates.
I used the idle mobile phone case at hand to create fragments, transform them into a part of time, and give a new meaning to the objects’ lifecycle from scratch: a new story begins here.
Chaos by Liu Yubing
In the post-pandemic era, the situation could cause negative consequences: people could suffer from minor or severe psychological disorders under various environmental and social pressures.
I tried to play with the theme of fear and provide people with a medium to vent their emotions.
The design uses the image of the kappa – an amphibious yōkai found in traditional Japanese folklore, typically depicted as green, human-like beings with webbed hands and feet and a turtle-like carapace on their back – as a thematic element, combined with zombie literature. With the help of the feature of kappa pulling passers-by into the water, it refers to people spreading negative energy and infecting the surrounding people.
Bright face by Tang Xiaoli
The bag is adorned with waste electrical appliances. The transformation of old objects may allow consumers to discover their beauty and not just their simple usefulness. For example, the raw materials for this design are colourful wires, beautiful blue varistors, and chubby electronic tubes.
Re-candy provides a vision of tolerance and recycling. The design inspiration comes from Furla’s history and philosophy, which tells a story of love and heritage. The use of colorful waste wires is the continuation of the life of electrical appliances, as well as Furla’s long-lasting quality.
Breathing by Zhou Jie
Environmental protection is one of the issues that must be taken seriously and practised worldwide. I chose to focus on this activity to transform the bag.
Inspired by the marine environment, my project includes aversion to ocean pollution and a desire to live freely.
The materials used for the renovation came from leftover fabrics, some sequins, foam nets for packing fruits, metal paints about to expire, and idle LED lights.
I wanted to give this bag a new life as if it were breathing again with a new look.
Eternal Garden by Lan Yutong
Adding value to natural resources has become popular: drying recycled flowers and encapsulating them in eco-friendly resins or glues is a sustainable and innovative practice to reduce waste.
In this Re-candy bag transformation project, I was inspired by the meaning of flowers. Dried flowers represent the central theme. Flowers are perishable, but if they are dried and sealed in glue, they can retain their beauty forever. When condensed through the pure, transparent surface, you can clearly see the shape and colour of the dried flowers. You can also feel the vitality of the flowers in full bloom, locking in the beauty forever.
Flowers treated with UV glue bloom above the Re-candy letters, and the entire work looks like a flower basket.