Re—gained x Atelier Reservé x Boro Atelier

The tote bag, a canvas design classic from the 1940s, has been popular for decades as a fashion statement, or to project a certain image. The tote bag was also frequently used for protest, and of course as a marketing tool. These days you cannot enter a museum, festival, hip bookstore or fashion store without coming across the tote bag. It is no exception to have at least 25 of them in your home, and they remain a great souvenir, fashion item or gadget. 

But you may wonder if they are so much better than (reusable) plastic bags. To offset the footprint of making the bags, we would have to use them at least 100 times. And that certainly doesn't go for all of them. Time to set a new goal: once made, let's keep them, and (re)use them!

This project started with a batch of 5,000 Dutch Design Week bags with an old logo on them. Re—gained was keen to take care of these quality bags and invited Atelier Reservé and Boro Atelier to develop a new product together. Boro Atelier researched the possibilities of dyeing and screen-printing the fabric with another waste material; onion peels from Michelin star restaurant RIJKS®.

The Reservéboys designed a garment where the bags stand out among the other leftover fabrics they always work with, and may raise questions about their presence there. Like this, the design not only becomes an innovative and thought-provoking fashion item, it also may serve as a discussion piece to talk about how we treat our products, such as cheap tote bags.

This project was on show at Dutch Design Week 2023, within the exhibition The Product Chronicles from 21 - 29 October, at the Bergmann church, Eindhoven.

We were invited to take part in the podcast Stijlcast powered by Elle Decoration; which you can listen to here

About Atelier Reservé
Atelier Reservé is an Amsterdam-based niche brand that has been creating one-of-a-kind garments since 2016. The two 'Reservéboys' behind the label, visual artist Alljan Moehamad & designer Deyrinio Fraenk, use only fabrics from unsold stock, used materials and vintage (clothing) pieces for their collections, which often reference tattoo art and elements from Japanese culture.  

Without explicitly emphasizing its sustainable nature, Atelier Reservé gives their garments a distinct and authentic quality and embraces the aging process that naturally occurs as a result of daily wear and tear.

Boro Atelier combines local, social and sustainable aspects of textile production, inspired by the Japanese philosophical concept Boro meaning "use everything and waste nothing." The goal is to produce textiles without wasting resources and talent, and to provide opportunities for people to empower themselves by developing their skills and making the best of themselves. Boro Atelier provides an efficient and sustainable

way to help long-term job seekers and/or people with refugee backgrounds.

In addition, Boro Atelier is working to develop several natural dyes that do not harm the environment and skin.