How Vpaintz started
It all started from a woman who was mildly obsessed with patching her own (and others’) inner tubes in order to save a bit of money and prevent herself from having a tantrum when she’d get 3 consecutive punctures on the same day (it happens when you mix the London rainy weather with thin 23mm tyres…and oh, when you ride 100km daily). She wrapped her bike in inner tubes to protect it, and she made a bed for her pizza rack with them too. She wanted to do more, and was intrugued by the process of bag making…so in 2018 she bought a new sewing machine! And slowly but steadily started producing product after product.
Valentina, shop owner and founder of Vpaintz Upcycling. Graduated with a BA (honours) in Fashion Design and Knitwear at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2015.
6 inner tube rolls…takes about 2 hours of sewing!
Sustainability is at the core of our values, both as a business and as consumers. After moving from a small village between the Italian mountains to a huge metropolis such as London, we really started to notice and feel concerned about environmental issues such as waste management and lack of recycling facilities around us.
On a cultural level, we also noticed that people in cities tend to be more wasteful in this day and age, and wished we could do something to not only push other consumers to be just a little more mindful when it comes to throwing thrash away and recycling, but also play a role within the fashion industry…but what could that “something” be? Well, we came up with the – not so original, but still unexplored – idea of taking old bicycle inner tubes and turning them into durable and waterproof bags!
Sewing the inner tubes together
We take care of every detail of the process in house, from the development of a new design, to the production of the finished product.
What we upcycle
Inner tubesWe pick up inner tubes from our local bike shops, bring them home, cut them up, wash them, dry them, sew them together, and finally…we can use them to cut pattern pieces! We also use them for most of the borders/ outer seams.
DenimOld jeans, however we are limited with our supply (have you got a bunch of denim that you don’t know what to do with? Drop us an email at email@example.com – we’ll gladly take that from you and pay for postage)
Soft Plastic bags and packagingWe fuse plastic bags and other packaging to make flexible plastic panels, which give shape and structure to backpacks and bike bags!
We source the other fabrics both locally and internationally (sadly, the UK isn’t exactly at the forefront of hardware and fabric manufacturing at the moment!):
We make most of what we sell to order and we let customers decide how they prefer their bag to look like via providing a wide range of colour options. It’s a system that works great for us (no need to worry about storing stock, let alone preparing it and selling it), and we think it works great for buyers, too.
The bags are not “one of a kind” per se, however each bag is pretty unique, and if one wants to make it truly their own, we welcome extra customisations too (as long as they don’t clash with the main template!).
Colour options and charts are provided on each product shop page, and if you’re unsure about the colours you can ask us to make you a coloured draft (from a technical drawing of the bag in question) to make things easier.