English Retreads turns recycling into a bold fashion statement with eco-chic handbags and accessories handcrafted in Boulder, Colorado
Heather English got the idea for English Retreads when she was floating down Boulder Creek on, you guessed it, an inner tube. “I needed a new handbag but I was a hardcore vegetarian. I wanted something that was fashionable and invincible—but not made from leather,” Heather explains. “I didn’t find what I was looking for, so I went to McGuckin’s, [a favorite local hardware store] bought some tools and started my own personal sweatshop—with me doing the sweating.” After friends started asking for a bag just like hers, Heather knew she was on to something and English Retreads hit the road in 2001.
Truck stops in the Boulder area supply Heather with the used inner tubes—each of which probably has more than 60,000 miles on it before it gets reinvented. “Just think of all the places these tubes have been,” says Heather. “Now it’s your turn to add to their miles and adventures.”