Green fashion designer creates handbags, keyrings out of cans

Hobby turns into a business after products get strong demand from the public.

Lille, France – The novel creations of an eco-conscious fashion designer, who used 600 can ring pulls and three weeks to make just one stylish handbag, is catching attention.

Marlene Lallart, 45, an artist from Hauts-de-France in the northern French city of Lille said she needs 600 drink cans to make just one handbag and that it can sometimes take her three weeks.

“It requires a lot of effort to make just one handbag because it takes 600 ring pulls and a lot of time,” Lallart said.

The artist uses can ring pulls and other recyclable items to make the incredible handbags. She started making the key rings as a hobby a few years ago, giving them to friends and family.

Demand grew to such a point that she decided to create a small company in 2018 called ‘Les Realisations Du Lutin’, which translates into English as ‘The Lutin’s Creations’.

A lutin, also Lallart’s nickname, is a creature from French fairy tales that can be loosely translated into English as an elf, a hobgoblin, a pixie, a leprechaun, or a fairy.

She said she enjoyed what she was doing so much that she diversified from just making key rings and started making more complicated items.

The handbag created by Marlene Lallart. (Les realisations du Lutin/Real Press)

The process awakened her inner ecologist, and she became aware of how important it is to protect the environment.

The first full creation she came up with was a handbag that she made for her mother. She even won a local prize for creating something using recyclable materials.

But she says it’s worth it because, in the end, no one can tell that the bag made with discarded cans.

She said her customers enjoy trying to work out what her creations are made of, but admits it is not particularly profitable due to the time it takes to make one handbag. The time needed to make a handbag forced her to start making wallets and purses as well.

Lallart is currently working on new designs and ways to improve her products. Her artwork is also available on her Instagram page.

She said some people make jewelry from the tabs of the cans. But that did not appeal to her. One day she got the idea of knitting with them and thus she got started.

To get the cans, she turned to local restaurants and family and friends. She also started collecting cans during her walks as she claimed to be aware of the ecological impact of these cans on the roadside.

She uses a resistant nylon thread to crochet the material. She pointed out that her products do not rust as they are made of aluminum.

“The essence of my work is small personalized key rings with photos, images and messages.”

(Edited by Megha Virendra Choudhary and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)