When I met my friend Noella for coffee today I had to admire her bag. "Don't worry, I haven't been to Thailand - I got it in west London." Either way, it's a great colour and the Thai script makes it thoroughly cool - an upcycling exemplar.
We got together at Le Chandelier, where mismatched china and loads of old chandeliers set the reclaimed scene. Just a few doors down is Karavan, a shop that's been promoting eco living in the area since even before East Dulwich became so darn trendy. They have upcycled goods a-plenty in there, including shoppers recreated from Bangladeshi cement bags from a company called Turtle Bags and notebooks with covers made from plastic bags by a company called Revolve. (Visit Revolve online to see what clever things they've been making from redundant yoghurt pots, CDs, juice cartons, coffee cups and plastic bottles too.)
When I see a bag that once contained rice in Thailand with a stylish new life, or a cement bag from Bangladesh that's dutifully serving a new purpose, or a plastic bag that's now reinvented itself as a notebook, I feel a bit sad for all those forlorn and abandoned bags sloppily going to waste in a pile of rubbish or floating around in the ocean, don't you?