A local designer has created a selection of artisan handbags made from recycled rooibos tea bags, that are being sold in the fashion capital of the world, Paris.

The idea of the recycled handmade bag came to life when Dube was given the opportunity to create a concept and pitch it to the owner of Original t-bags.

Gracious Dube, is a 33-year-old creative designer that has worked for Original t-bag designs since its inception in 2000. The company is located in the breezy community of Hout Bay and is renowned for its innovative creations made from recycled goods.

The rooibos handbag is made from empty tea bags, “I found that the rooibos tea bags are actually much stronger,” Dube told CapeTalk.

Utilising recyclable goods enables longevity of the item and positively contributes to the ecosystem.

“I empty the used tea bags and iron them to be used for making a bag,”she said.

Dube was aiming to create something different and original with her skills as a designer and creative.

The handbags were spotted in the V & A Waterfront by popular up cycling French fashion designer, Carine Kahlil, who approached the company and expressed her desire to work with Dube.

“I came to work the following day after Karine had visited the workshop and was told she wants to work with me and wow… I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

The tea bags are sourced from locals and international individuals who post their used tea bags to the company. There is a large international community from Germany and the United Kingdom.

Dube’s message for local entrepreneurs is an inspirational one,”It starts with you as an individual and you have to have that dream and a goal. It is not easy, people may not like what you create but you must keep on improving,” she said.

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.