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Knitted chic: Ling Wu creates upcycled handbags from vintage blankets

Knitted chic: Ling Wu creates upcycled handbags from vintage blankets

Ling Wu, a Singapore-based leather goods brand, has recycled and transformed vintage blankets into eye-catching bags for their new Le Grand collection. 

The line of upcycled bags features premium wool fabrics, calf leather trimmed accents and a leather front phone pocket. The collection features only very limited pieces, eliminating excess in the manufacturing process. 

Designer Goh Ling Ling founded her homegrown accessories label in 2010 with a vision to produce timeless leather products and promote slow fashion, drawing inspiration from her father’s manufacturing company.

“During my sourcing trips, I came across many unwanted blankets, either given away to charity shops or sold at flea markets. I think there are so many old materials out there, wasted sitting in the dust, that you can give a new life to,” she shared.

Buying Less, Buying Better

Creating products that last is at the core of the Ling Wu philosophy. While only available in limited numbers, Ling Wu designs are carefully constructed and made with repurposed deadstock materials. 

Ling Ling attests that too much greenwashing is happening in the fashion industry and, “as product designers, it is our duty to make a choice by selecting the right materials; materials that are sustainable.” 

There’s a distorted perception that polyurethane leather, also known as vegan leather, is sustainable. In fact, it is not biodegradable because it’s made entirely of synthetic materials—even current versions of fruit-based leathers. 

Fortunately, with more and more Singaporean brands incorporating sustainability into their collections, consumers have the flexibility to shop more consciously with a wider range of eco-friendly options. 

See Also
Upcycled leather handbags by British brand BEEN London

Slow Fashion Practices

Ling Wu also takes pride in uplifting communities. It works with social enterprises Handep and The Ranee of Sarawak to empower indigenous tribes in Kalimantan and Sarawak through fair trade practices. Bridging modernity and tradition and working with skilled artisans gives more meaning and story to a crafted piece.

Through each collection, the Ling Wu brand prioritises improving the quality of their pieces. Their team often has conversations with leather merchants and craft manufacturers who share their care about product quality than quantity. 

Ling Ling has expressed an interest in utilising lab-grown materials in the future. She hopes that such scientific breakthroughs will make it easier to develop waste-reduction and more sustainable approaches for the fashion industry.

The Le Grand collection is available online on Ling Wu’s official website.

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