Pangaea bag

How to Upcycle a Soccer Ball into a Handbag

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This post was written by Thomas Casadei della Chiesa of PangaeA Bags.

old soccer balls to be upcycled to handbags

We are surrounded by so many different forms, but we tend to consider them only for their obvious or original meaning. We often struggle to reconsider them for another use. We constantly buy items and we trash them when they no longer serve their original purpose

PangaeA tackles this issue by ‘hand recycling’ one of the most popular and recognized objects in the world: the soccer ball (football).

Inspired by a trip to Thailand and the inventive Thai people, an old leather soccer ball at the end of its life cycle was transformed into an original designer handbag.

When you think about it, the worn and laundered balloon, though not used anymore, still holds the memories and energy caused by joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, goals and fouls, love and hate.  

To become a PangaeA product, each ball shell, recovered from playing fields all over Italy, goes through 4 manual processes (“handrecycled” n.d.r.) which make it colourful, lightweight, durable and water-repellent. Cotton or nappa interior and leather trim enrich and enhance a unique and inimitable product.

In fact, even if treated in the same way, each PangaeA is unique. The colour of each bag will depend not only on the type of balloon used as a base, but also by the wear in its history. The manual handling of shells and the high quality of craftsmanship make this product a perfect mix for those who have sensitivity and respect for the surrounding but do not want to be deprived of the pleasure of wearing a luxury product.

Each bag is packed in a bag of colored Panama fabric. A cotton wire cross is applied to this by hand which recalls the soccer net. PangaeA, the name of the earth’s embryonic state before it divided into our present continents, recalls the concept of originality.

Just like PangaeA, the original balloon is also divided into other handbags and accessories in line with an original and unique design.

soccer ball upcycled to handbag
PangaeA Africa Handbag

The line of PangaeA bags and accessories is born from the passion for the research of new shapes and new materials. Using the recycled material of soccer balls, the Pangaea model Africa barrel bag was a finalist in New York’s HANDBAG AWARDS 2018 design competition.

All products are rigorously designed, developed and sewn by hand in Italy.

You can find PangaeA Bags online here or on instagram here.

For more upcycled handbags see this guide to creating a handbag from a pair of old leather boots.


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