Museum News

Upcycling – From Banners to Bags

By 14 June 2021No Comments
Upcycled bags, Autumn range

Weald & Downland Living Museum team up with local designer to transform old museum banners into a beautiful bespoke bag collection.

The award-winning Weald & Downland Living Museum has partnered with West Sussex designer Alice of Arundel to upcycle unused banners into a unique and functional bag collection, saving on waste and creating beautiful designs which visitors can now purchase from the Gift Shop.

The innovative team at the Museum approached local designer, Georgina Smith from Alice of Arundel when they realised that their 50th anniversary promotional banners would go to waste due to cancelled events as a result of last year’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Commercial Manager, Ilona Harris shares how the inspiration for the project came from the heart of the Museum and the historic rural communities it represents.

“The idea of making something useful out of what you have, to reuse and recycle, is something we’re all trying to do. It also fits so well with the people whose history the Museum represents. Rural communities had to work with what they had at hand and turn it into what they needed. With our newly reopened Museum shop, we’re reflecting the values and ethos of the Museum, representing the weald region and showcasing real skill and craft makers.

Working with Alice of Arundel ties all of these things together. We’re working in partnership with an independent, micro maker who’s using her talents and skills to make something beautiful, practical and utterly unique.”

Georgina of Alice of Arundel specialises in handmade accessories, clothing and bespoke designs and was keen to use her creative talents to turn the Museum’s concept into reality.

“I have loved the opportunity to take on a sustainable project and work with one of my favourite local attractions to upcycle their vinyl banners. Over the past year my work focus has mainly been creating facemasks, so to work on a creative project of this nature, based around repurposing the Museum’s material feels like a significant move back towards normality.”

Each bag has been handcrafted by Georgina into one-of-a-kind designs including colourful tote bags, weekend bags, sports bags as well as smaller bags suitable for toiletries and cosmetics. Prices start at just £13.50 and will be available to purchase from the Museum’s gift shop and online wealddown.co.uk/shop.