Plastic is Trisha Cheeny’s bag. A recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she majored in interdisciplinary sculpture, Cheeny is looking to launch Pälemer, a line of clothing and accessories derived from used plastic bags and other recycled materials. Cheeny created Pälemer to “challenge ‘fast fashion’ and eliminate consumer waste,” she wrote on Kickstarter, where she’s raising funds for her inaugural collection.
Cheeny has created several prototypes, including a winter jacket made from 214 castoff carryalls and insulated with recycled fleece. She also constructed a windbreaker from roughly 90 used bags, then lined it with mesh made from recycled materials.
For stuff-schelpping, there’s a book bag, which Cheeny assembled from roughly 80 used retail-shopping bags for extra durability.
“Our planet is facing huge changes, so we need to be making huge changes,” Cheeny said. “Pälemer is changing how we use our planet’s resources and our planet’s waste. We hope you join us.”
She won’t have a shortage of materials to work with: Roughly a trillion single-use plastic bags are produced and used every year, according to the Earth Policy Institute—that’s nearly 2 million per minute.
Cheeny is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at Open Works, a maker’s space in Baltimore where she’ll spend the next six months developing her line further.