Escama – Upcycled fashion

Escama – Upcycled fashion

Upcycling, as it is referred to is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new better products – turning trash into treasure. Humble materials elevated through design and integrity.

Based in San Francisco and Brazil, Escama Studio makes beautiful recycled fashion accessories using crochet and recycled aluminum pull-tabs.

The Escama “Capsule Collection 2011” takes Escama Studio’s signature metallic handbag shell – handmade of crochet and recycled aluminum pops – and combines it with luxurious accents of leather, beautiful fabric interiors, custom cast hardware and Italian zippers. The result is a bold collection of new accessories that are as coveted as the classic bags from which they were inspired.


You can order Escama products online at

The video below, shows the various steps required to make a ring pull bag: from sourcing recycled aluminum, sorting usable tabs, washing, polishing, trimming and crocheting pop tops into the finished products. It follows the journey of the bags from Brazil to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Escama Studio is an experiment in sustainability.

Escama Studio is a collaborative design studio based in San Francisco and Brazil. Our mission is to blend traditional handwork with modern design – while improving the lives of the women who make our bags.

Escama Studio team adapted traditional crochet techniques used in Brazil and imbued this tradition with a modern design sense and new materials. With designs originating from both San Francisco and Brazil, the bags are hand crocheted in Brazil by women’s collectives who are not just contract manufacturers, but an integral part of Escama Studio.

Escama Studio products are a sleek, handcrafted line of women’s handbags and accessories made from recycled pull-tabs and intricate crochet. Our bags are mesmerizing. At first glance it’s not clear what the bags are made of. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that they are works of real ingenuity, wearable works of art.

In 2004 we began working with 12 artisans. Now, our operation in Brazil works daily with more than 100 women from three different cooperatives that give artisans the means to support themselves and their families.

“Creating innovative and stylish products form post-consumer and other sustainable materials, through partnerships with producers in economically disadvanatged communites”

About the Artist Who Made Your Bag

The artists work in co-operatives located outside of Brasília, Brazil. The co-operative groups offer women and men in the community a means to earn a living wage through handicrafts and provide a setting where friends are made and self-esteem is regained.

Each purse is hand-crocheted by Brazilian artists and even signed and tagged individually by the artists themselves.

Escama Studio donates a percentage of annual sales towards computer-based educational programs, along with computers, furniture, training, and assistance opening bank accounts.


Brasilia Fashion Week 2006 Eco Fashion show featured the work of Ronaldo Fraga, one of the most original designers in today’s Brazilian fashion scene..

The collection of ring pull dresses were handmade by the cooperatives using recycled aluminum pull-tabs and crochet. The haute couture collection by Fraga of recycled pop top clothing pushed the boundaries of what can be done with recycled materials.

Each ring pull dress is a work that requires hundreds of hours to complete. So it was very appropriate that the women who crochetted the dresses for Fraga walk down the runway with the models and the designer.

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