What's Old: In a single week, one textile factory can send 60,000 pounds of post-industrial waste to the landfill. That's a lot of fabric scraps. What's more, nationwide Americans discard roughly 10 million pounds of textiles each year.
Upcycle: LooptWorks, based in Portland, Oregon, collects pre-consumer excess materials marked for disposal in Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. The leftovers become limited production run jackets, hoodies, shirts, skirts, bags, laptop sleeves, and wallets. They'll typically build 500 items in each style. Materials are tested for quality and the designs are developed in weeks.
What's New: The Noll Messenger Bag offers bombproof commuter style. Five interior pockets (including a laptop sleeve) protected by waterproof outer fabric carry workday necessities. It's roomy: we packed lunch, running clothes, laptop, and miscellaneous purse stuff. The seams are double-stitched (and triple-stitched in critical areas). A large metal hook and eye on the shoulder strap allows adjustment for bike-commuter comfort; two exterior pockets provide on-the-go access. The LooptWorks production cycle dwarfs the months of R&D behind name-brand products, meaning products are not tied to fashion trends. Instead, the unique look turns heads at the office and coffee shops. Each product is hand-numbered; we tested 257/300 of the Noll. Reduce waste, look good, and get gear that's built to last—what's not to love? $70; looptworks.com —Olivia Dwyer