The Upcycled Vintage Bags: Moroccan Crafts Meet Berlin Upcycling

Posted on 16 August 2019

picture of a berber bag up-cycled

Fast Fashion – a Vicious Cycle?

I’m sure you have heard: Fast Fashion is bad for the environment. In Germany, every person buys sixty new items of clothing per year. While you get a neurological kick out of buying new, beautiful clothes and accessories, the overcrowded wardrobes cause mental exhaustion for more and more consumers. And the problem goes on: if you decide to say good bye to items you don’t want to wear anymore and donate them, it does not necessarily mean they are being recycled and reused. In Germany, a fourth of all collected old clothes is actually recycled. But only a small fraction is actually fiber-to-fiber recycling, which can then be used to produce new clothing. The majority of your recycled jeans, t-shirts and so on are shredded and used as filling material or cleaning rags – and will be garbage eventually, anyway.


The Solution: DIY and Upcycling

So, what can we do? We at ABURY thought, we should just do the recycling ourselves – and more: We do upcycling! DIY and Upcycling are fashion trends that came up with the rising awareness for sustainability and minimalistic consumerism. Change old into new, give new life to a dear object, fill it with joy and empowerment by crafting it with your own hands.

close up of someone customizing a vintage berber bag

So, instead of throwing old clothes and accessories away or buying something new (that you don’t actually need) you can MAKE something new out of the old things. This is better for the planet and for your mental wellbeing.


ABURY Vintage Bags

What we have en masse at ABURY, are the vintage bags that ABURY founder Andrea Bury collected passionately on Morrocan markets. They are up to 50 years old and have come a long way. Having accompanied Berber men on their walks through the desert, handmade from goat leather and embroidered with cactus silk, they carry a lot of history and bring the vibe of old Berber fairytales to your everyday life.

Even though on some vintage bags you can’t see the embroidery clearly anymore or the strap is loose, they are too pretty to not wear them! So we had the idea to upcycle them together with you. Our upcycled vintage bags combine the desire to have something unique with the pure joy to craft something with our own hands. During our DIY workshops you can create an upcycled vintage bag – your very own festival accessory!

vintage berber bag with accessories


How Does Upcycling Work?

Every workshop participant chooses one of our vintage bags he or she wants to upcycle. We have bigger a smaller bags, plain and colourful ones – there is the perfect vintage bag for everyone. The next step is the ornamenting, colouring, glittering, stitching, glueing. In short: Cycle it up!

patches, beads, paints for diy vintage berber bag

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors Union Knopf, Pink Stories, Dortex, Rico Design, UHU Kreativ and My Tinkerbox, we have a vast amount of materials: inca ribbons, tassels, pompoms, feathers, buttons, patches, labels, yarn, tissues, acrylic colours, glue – and all the tools you need to realise your ideas and make your own Upcycled Vintage Bag.

The vintage bags can be coloured with acrylic colours – maybe to emphasise the pattern of the embroidery – or just give the bag a whole new look. You can add your own embroidery using yarn that you glue onto the bag. You can add colourful beads either glueing them separately or putting them on a string. Adorn the strap of the vintage bag with inca ribbons, embellish the front of the bag with feathers, fringes, pompoms, patches – there are no limits!


Good For You and The Planet

Let your fantasy run free, savour this special atmosphere that only emerges when you work concentrated with your own hands – and admire the result, your own handmade vintage bag! The upcycled vintage handbags combine traditional moroccan charm with the vibe of warm summer nights and festival experiences. You cherish the old Moroccan handicraft, don’t waste the materials and add your own little note to the the vintage bag. This way, the upcycled vintage bag is positively yours!

picture of someone painting on a vintage berber bag

results of the vintage berber bag workshop


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