Edgy, Industrial Fashion that is Upcycled – TS Rubber Bags & Accessories line by Tanja Schroeder. Based in Denmark and inspired by the Steampunk genre/sub-culture, TS Rubber Bags makes handmade rubber bags, belts and accessories using industrial rubber. Every item is very unique, and some of them are adorned with military jewelry, gears and various recycled parts.
At A daily dose of vitamin F, we’re always on the lookout for innovative, creative and unique movements within the fashion industry. So it’s no surprise that we immediately got excited to learn more about this fashion forward and eco-friendly company. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to have a Skype chat with Tanja, the founder and designer of TS Rubber Bags.
During the call we discussed her life, her line and what the future holds for TS Rubber Bags.
VF: Describe yourself using 4 words
TS: Creative, Designer, Passionate, Loves Life
TS: Well I always loved design and knew I wanted to design. At age 16 I started to make things and it all came very naturally. When I was young I would always mix things to keep my style affordable, so I would wear both new and old clothes and accessories. Not having a lot of money I wouldn’t buy a lot of designers, but I tried to create a look that was fashion forward by making my own things, using recycled items, buying clothes from the Salvation Army, etc.
VF: Who do you admire, or who inspires you within the art/fashion world (dead or alive)?
TS: Alexander McQueen is my favorite designer, I really like his designs. I am also inspired by Alex London, of Alex London Fashion House (a small couture house based out of NYC) who has a similar design aesthetic to McQueen’s.
VF: Where does your personal inspiration come from?
TS: I am personally inspired by the whole steam-punk scene and style, and so this bears some influence on my work as well.
VF: How did you get into this (business/industry)? How did the idea for these pieces come about?
TS: I worked as a kindergarten teacher with a creative background for years, I happened upon a book describing various handicraft items which could be fashioned from recycled rubber – mainly discarded inner tubes from farm- and industrial vehicles such as trucks, tractors and excavators. The kids loved the items we made together – and so did their moms and sisters. So, in 2008 I started making my own designs, word spread, and I suddenly found myself in the recycling fashion business!
TS: Well everything is handmade at my home/showroom and I work with 3 small companies to source trims, and other materials. I only use discarded, industrial recycled rubber hauling it home, clean it, cut, sew, and add riveting and decoration. No two inner tubes used to make the items are identical. They have different patches and product stamps, logos and patterns and although the variety is at times subtle, it is there. The recycled material is soft, smooth, durable and silky to the touch and waterproof. I design various handbags (small, medium and large), belt bags, suspenders, belts, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. **Sidenote** All products are made of recycled rubber tubes from tractor wheels. All the rubber has been washed and cleansed thoroughly before manufacture. The rubber may still come off on clothing and we therefore recommend that you don’t use the products with white/bright clothes. The rubber should be protected against direct sunlight to prevent fading.Every product comes with a 2 year warranty. The rubber can be polished with silicone based white shoe cream. Do not use oil or fat based products.
VF: Who is your customer?
TS: Someone that likes the distinctive look and feel of my products. They like a handbag, clutch or accessory that stands out, adds an edge to an outfit, giving it that extra touch. They may also be drawn to my line as it is both environmentally conscientious and fashion forward at the same time.
VF: Where are your pieces sold? Are they available outside of Denmark?
VF: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
TS: The main goal is to become an International brand. Right now I am working on deals within Hong Kong, China and Western Europe. I hope to keep expanding and expose more people to my work.
Like TS Rubber Bags? Well show some love and “LIKE” it on Facebook! Want to get in touch with Tanja? Email her at email@example.com