Two Colombian architects living in Barcelona, Spain, made a junked event banner into a one-of-a-kind bag, which they presented to Barcelona’s City Council—along with a recycled product idea that appealed to the eco-friendly city. The entrepreneurs, Liliana Andrade and Marcela Manrique, signed agreements with Barcelona’s city hall, cultural institute and other organizations to obtain used event banners, many made from UV resistant and waterproof PVC, polyester or rip-stop material. The new business, Demano® Barcelona, recycles the waste fabric into shoulder bags, bike carrier bags, laptop sleeves and other accessories.
Demano selects, classifies and cleans the banners to make them ready for production. Customers can choose specific event banners from a range of colorful options, making each bag unique. Each bag has a tag with information about the event, the banner’s designer and the process used to make the product. The company now manufactures 3,000-5,000 bags per month, sells in 25 countries, has won environmental awards and is moving into new materials, such as used kite-surfing fabric.