In London-based social-entrepreneur Andy Marks’ world there are plenty of ways to recycle, reduce and reuse even the most unlikely materials. Focusing in on old bed linens from the most luxurious of hotels to the coziest of homes, Marks’ company, Sleeping Bags, has a different vision for these retired bed sheets over dumpster doom: artistic tote bags.
Sleeping Bags has partnered with the Marriott Hotel at Marble Arch in London and St. Mungo’s, a charity for the homeless, with the release of a line of artistic tote bags. Marks takes the sheets from the Marriott, has them cut and stitched by local manufacturers, and then designed by local artists. Profits from the sales of the bags benefit the many projects of St. Mungo’s.
Sleeping Bags are designed by artists like Sir John Hegarty, Jason Bruges, and Vicki Murdoch, with each artist fashioning their own answer for the concept, “In My Dreams.” The bags are hand-painted, making then not just functional pieces that are recycled and for charity, but they are also pieces of high art.
Marks acknowledges that tote bags made out of bed sheets are probably not going to save the world, but they do provide consumers with a beautiful alternative to plastic bags, and push recycling into, and out of, the bedroom.