Suffolk success as eco handbag takes a bite out of the Big Apple
- Credit: Archant
Two former pupils of a Suffolk school have become finalists in a highly respected design awards ceremony in America with their version of an eco-friendly handbag.
Charlotte Bingham-Wallis and Maria Costa met aged 16 at Sudbury Upper School and founded ‘From Belo’ in 2018 with the intention of creating handbags made from materials destined for landfill such as seatbelts, fabric offcuts and plastic bottles.
From Belo takes its name from a region in Brazil, where Miss Costa originally hails from, called Belo Horizonte, and the company’s intention was to help lift the community there helping to break the cycle of poverty.
The duo believe that every action taken has an impact on the community and environment and using local artisans’ skills, From Belo ensure they get paid fair wages providing safe working conditions and donate meals to homeless people in the area.
And now ‘The Helena Bag’ they have created has caught the judges’ attention in the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, known as ‘The Handbag Oscars’. The friends and business partners are finalists in the Most Socially Conscious Handbag of 2020 category and will find out if they have won when the ceremony is streamed online from New York in June.
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Charlotte and Maria said: “We wear the stories of individuals. Every product that we buy represents someone who has worked hard to create it.
“Being a finalist for the Most Socially Conscious handbag of 2020 is an absolute honour for us and our team.
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“It keeps us all even more motivated to carry on our path of making positive impact as we grow.
“It gives not only ourselves but also our artisans the recognition of all the hard work we are putting into making beautiful products and into empowering the community of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.”
From Belo have so far saved 2,725 decommissioned seatbelts, 4,127 plastic bottles and 575 fabric offcuts from landfill and provided 2,578 meals to people in need in Brazil.
For more information, go to: www.frombelo.com
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