This Minsk designer proves paper bags are the future of fashion

3 July 2019

WIth more and more UK shops removing plastic bags from their checkouts, the handbags and totes we take out onto the high street are about to undergo a serious overhaul. Minsk-based brand Voodoo Workshop offers stylish and eco-friendly bags for life that you won’t want to hide in the back of the cupboard.

Pioneered by designer Marina Antipovich, the label creates clutches, rucksacks, and handbags from washable paper: a flexible material blending paper and leather. Ready to be used again and again, the bags are a greener alternative to brown, single-use paper packets.

The fabric is already popular in countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, where it is used to make bags, chairs, and homeware. “As soon as I took a piece of the material in my hands, I fell in love with it,” Antipovich told The Calvert Journal. “It was so beautiful, with its natural colours and paper structure. And, of course, it’s waterproof, strong, and eco-friendly.”

Antipovich’s eco-friendly mission has helped her to find a niche in Minsk’s rapidly expanding fashion scene. “Belarusian fashion is developing fast — there are a lot of brands which have been created during the last three or four years,” she says. “There are some really cool and outstanding labels: Zabelina Design, LSD Clothing, Historia Naturalis, Murashka. [But] we have lots of bag designers in Minsk who are quite similar to each other — something new and fresh was just asking to be made.”

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