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Manufacturing Materials Become Minimalist Handbags

Clever production techniques turn mundane fabrics into elegant accessories.

Sometimes we’re so busy making up new ways to do things that we forget to use the resources we already have. Repurposing existing production techniques and materials was the starting point for designer Joris de Groot’s two minimalist handbag designs called Crease and Weld, which were produced using the PVC and machinery of Dutch rain gear and waterbed company, Dolfing Druten. The bags, which began as de Groot’s thesis project at the Netherlands’ ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, were officially released this fall.

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The Weld bag series–a laptop briefcase and shopping, sports and beach bag–took its shape from a folding technique used to produce cheap plastic shopping bags. It also borrows a PVC typically used in the uniforms of chemical and agricultural workers and kneepad foam for work trousers.


The panels were “sewn” together using a microwave-like, high-frequency welding technique. With Crease–made from garden chair PVC wire–de Groot determined the bag’s volume by strategically welding folds into its bottom and sides, an innovation that makes the bag both unusual and good-looking.

One of the requirements of de Groot’s self-generated brief was that he use only the materials and machines that he found in the factory, which he then co-opted as his workspace and laboratory. But, the designer says, it felt more like a playground. Next up? Collaboration with a waste management company may be in the works.

For inquiries or purchases, please contact: jorisdegrootontwerp@gmail.com

About the author

Istanbul- and Brooklyn-based Shonquis Moreno is a former editor for Dwell, Frame, and Surface magazines, who contributes to publications that include Wallpaper, Case da Abitare, Whitewall, and Metropolis.

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