Meet the Swiss Army bag. Not so much in the sense that it pops out tools, tweezers and nail files, mind. Rather, the travel bag above is part of a collection created from surplus military blankets—well, why not? It’s not as though the famously neutral nation is planning to head into combat any time soon.
The Helveticus Swiss Army Recycling Collection came about after the discovery of huge stockpiles of the blankets, a result of the army’s switch to sleeping bags and the fact that Switzerland hasn’t got itself tangled up in a war since 1815. The ever-resourceful Swiss, having mastered recycling (they recycle at least three quarters of glass, aluminium and paper consumed), thought they’d try their hand at upcycling with an eight-piece range of bags and accessories.
Each design shares the same basic aesthetic premise: grey wool, Swiss cross feature and tan leather. Only the hardware (zips and bits) is new—like the blankets, the leather detailing has done military service as gun leashes and soldier’s belts.
Every bag ($130-$350), phone case ($45) and slipper ($80) is handmade in the alpine village of Törbel—with a staff of 10, the production line is the largest employer in a tiny community short on jobs. Win win.
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