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Ecoist and Frito-Lay turn snack bags into handbags


We've mentioned Ecoist before -- it's a Miami-based company that turns old magazines, candy wrappers and soda-can pull tabs into handmade totes, handbags, and coin purses -- but there's something about its recently announced partnership with Frito-Lay North America that makes us chuckle.

The licensing deal with the snack-food subsidiary of PepsiCo means Ecoist will be turning unusable or obsolete packaging from Lays, Cheetos, Fritos, Tostitos and Sunchips into an assorted variety of items including purses, clutches and place mats.

But the best of the munch bunch has got to be the potato chip bowl -- which, according to the description,  Rage_Chipbowl is hand-woven from 260 "upcycled" Lays potato chip bags that would otherwise be destined for the dump.

Now if only Ecoist could help us do something about upcycling the extra material we find forming about our middle after snarfing down 260 bags of Lays potato chips, we'd really have the loop closed.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photos: At top left, a sunflower baguette handmade from unchip snack-food packaging, $49. At top right, a clutch made from Tostito bags, $28. Bottom, a chip bowl made from 260 waste-bound Lay's potato chip bags, $40. All part of Ecoist's new Frito-Lay collection available at Credit: Ecoist

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That's a more complicated definition of "closed loop" then we at Ecoist are prepared to handle :)


Wonderful items, but if the company is located in Miami, why are the items made in Mexico, when there are thousands of unemployed here in Florida? Great for the environment, no so great for the economy.

What's the carbon footprint of shipping the raw materials (bags) to Mexico & back?

The bags aren't cheap - what's the profit ratio?


The handbags and accessories are produced in a Fair Trade collective in Peru. The collective began with 3 women and has grown to more than 30 skilled artisans. Many of the workers who produced the first Ecoist bags are still with us today.



We are in the process of becoming a carbon neutral company. More news on that coming soon.

As for the profit ratio, Ecoist bags are handmade. Each bag requires several hours of cutting and folding each weave. Part of the cost reflects the labor and love in each item.



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