We definitely think that heralding advances in new eco-materials technology is key, but we have to give props to all of the green designers out there doing their thing the “old-fashioned” way and fashioning the old into the awesome. When it comes to the repurposing movement, Ashley Watson is at the forefront of the game with her brilliant purses, totes, and clutches made from buttery-soft vintage leather jackets. The leather used doesn’t use any additional energy or materials since it is already in existence, making Watson’s bags some of the most eco-chic accessories you can be proud to rock on your shoulder.

Ashley Watson bag

When we first spied Watson’s unique, one-of-a-kind craftsmanship, we were blown away by their season-defying versatility and innovative touches. You can definitely tell that these bags are old souls because Watson chooses to showcase, rather than hide all of the fun features (like jacket pockets and seams) that made the rescued thrift-store coats special in their past lives. You’ll also recognize the rich terracotta and fall-leaf palettes of her collections as the color stories that were so popular in knee-length leather coats in the ’70s. So retrotastic!

Ashley Watson recycled leather jacket bags and wallets are now sold online and in stores across North America, and will soon be available in select stores in Europe.

+ Ashley Watson