Eco-Clothing From Kharkiv
An eco-clothing line made from old advertising banners was created by a young tailor in Kharkiv. The talented designer, originally from Donbas, makes bags that are more than just an accessory.
Once a photo model and a beauty queen of her native city of Makiivka, today Kateryna Uvarova enjoys demonstrating an accessory she made herself – a handbag sewn from an advertisement banner. The print on the banner advertises of the beauty pageant she once won. She took the banner with her as a souvenir when she was forced to move to Kharkiv in 2014. Now Katya is a student of the sociological faculty at the local university. Her first project was developing a line of clothing for young people featuring eco t-shirts. Then she decided to start sewing bags from banners.
“This banner has been lying around unused for almost seven years. And then we thought – why won’t we use it to sew a shopping bag? It can hold almost 10 kilograms, so it’s very convenient to shop with,” she said.
As Katya found out, the material used for advertisement banners consists of recycled plastic and vinyl polymers. It takes over a hundred years for polyester to decompose. So to prevent used advertising banners being thrown away – she collects them from various organizations. And gives them a new life. Katya’s mom helps her with this. She says their bags are not only convenient but also very useful. The handles are sewn using a tape with reflective thread.
“When you are walking home and it is late and dark outside and car lights fall on you, there is a light-reflecting element. This is a safe way to get back home,” she said.
Olha is a tailor with 10 years of experience. She agreed to make the first 10 eco-bags out of curiosity. Now she offers her own ideas and develops new designs.
“These are cosmetics bags, backpacks, covers. Soon we are planning to make shoes for kids,” she said.
The bags are priced from 130 to 300 hryvnias, which is about 5 to 11 dollars. Katia and her mom are negotiating with eco-stores to sell their products. Aside from that, they are trying out what useful things could be made from car and bicycle tires.