Our Made-to-order collection is our custom upcycling service where we use leather sent to us by our customers to repurpose their personal jackets into bags. These bags often carry a strong sentimental value – connected to a time, place, history, or a loved one. Here are a few of the stories.
“I have an old Tiffany’s leather belt that belonged to my husband’s late father. His father was his best friend and he misses him terribly. He’ll never actually wear the belt so I thought about repurposing it. I’d love to make more than one thing and gift it to my husband and his siblings at Christmas.”
– Tiffany C.
“I bought my jacket in Gatlinburg, TN almost 20 years ago. I saw all of that fringe and loved it! I have kept it all of these years thinking my daughter might wear it…turns out that’s not her style (imagine that😉). However I think she will probably fight me over the handbag:-) ”
– Cheryl L.
“ I found your website when I was looking up memorial things I could do with an old leather jacket. You see, my father was very proud to be a Marine. He did two tours during the Vietnam War and although he made it home safe, unlike a lot of his brothers and friends, it did ultimately take his life through the form of cancer from his exposure to Agent Orange.
He passed away 9 years ago and since then a lot of important things have happened which he has unfortunately missed. My family is from Connecticut and we had the same house for almost thirty years. I moved away to Denver, and my sister to North Carolina. My mom just made the tough decision to sell our family home and go down to North Carolina as well to be closer to my sister.
A lot of things didn’t make the move, but one thing in particular that we’ve held onto is my dad’s leather jacket. He loved the thing and we just couldn’t find it in ourselves to get rid of it so it’s hung in the closet for the last 9 years until it finally made the journey down to North Carolina.
Last Christmas I got engaged to the love of my life, who will unfortunately never get to meet my dad and my dad will never get to attend our wedding. I know my dad will be there in spirit, but of course I want to have a little piece of him there with us. My aunt had the wonderful idea of sewing part of his beloved jacket into my wedding dress and I LOVE this idea, but I only need a small piece and it breaks my heart to cut up the whole jacket just for that. That’s where YOU come in :)
It would mean the world to me if we could somehow use my dad’s jacket to create one of your beautiful bags for my mom for Christmas, and then if there were any way we could get the scraps back for me to sew inside my wedding dress? I’m attaching photos so you can assess and tell me if it’s possible and for how much.”
– Colleen L.
“My aunt was a DJ at KSJO in the 80s. I’d like to make her old leather jacket into an Ashbury for my sister for Christmas.”
“I was tearing up when my brother gave me the “Sleeping Bag Records” purse. I was named after my Aunt, who died when I was seven, and her love of music was a special part of our relationship. I’ve had this jacket in the closet for years and am overjoyed at how amazing the bag is and at the daily reminder I will have of her. Thank you. Best Christmas present ever.”
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“In 1984, my cousin, while traveling with the state department’s office of security, was in Rome on a temporary assignment. She looked for a leather jacket in the latest Italian style and purchased it for herself. In the late 80’s, she gave it to me, a stay-at-home-mom. I was thrilled. Even though it has been out of style for years, I loved the color and feel of the leather. And every year, I offered it to my daughter, who politely declined. This year she suggested that we recycle it into a handbag, which I wanted her to keep. The 80s oversized fashion fad meant that there was even enough leather left over for cosmetic cases for both my cousin and myself. I’m delighted that this jacket has a new home with all three of us. Once again, I’m thrilled! Thank you, Shannon.”
– Kathryn O.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much the bags you made from my brother’s coat mean to me. Mark and I were 18 months apart in age and he has been “gone” since he was 25 years old. That was 32 years ago and I have had his coat ever since. It never fit and/or appealed to any of my children so it has just been moved from attic to closet and back again for all these years. The hobo and clutch are beautiful works of art. My daughter, who never met her uncle, will be touched beyond belief to have something of his – repurposed in a way that suits a 23 year old woman. Thank you so much for your artistry and caring.”
– Ellen S.
“I have so many memories from my college days when I used to wear this bomber jacket all the time.”
“I’d never buy a fur coat; I’ve always felt strongly about not killing animals for their fur or their fins or their tusks, etc., but my mom inherited a slightly creepy, almost dismembered fur coat from a great-aunt long ago and because animals were killed for it and it came from family, we couldn’t bring ourselves to cast it off so somehow I became the guilty keeper of those scraps. My mother always said, waste not want not, and I believe it more and more, so now by giving the pieces new life and a new purpose I hope I can honor, if not give back, the lives that were taken.”
“I’m speechless…if the photos are any indication, the bag’s simple and elegant design are exactly what I wanted……the overall style far surpasses anything I could have imagined you could create… This jacket was my first “real” clothing purchase when I lived in Europe as a student many many years ago!”
This jacket was brought to me by a woman in San Francisco and it was the first commissioned transformation I ever did. The jacket belonged to her father who wore it during his time in the peace corps. The jacket held considerable meaning for her, but she had no practical use for it… until now. She was very happy.
*Sadly, I didn’t think to take a before picture.
“Thank you so much for remaking this jacket. It’s very near and dear to me as my mom loved New York and traveled there often. It was during a trip there, while walking around the city with friends, that my dad realized she didn’t have a nice coat. So, that Christmas, my dad and I shopped long and hard for just the perfect one. She now had a lovely coat for enjoying the city with friends. I so wish this story would end there, but unfortunately my mom passed away just a short time thereafter. I miss her so, so much every day, but I am thankful to have some of her things to bring me comfort and remind me of happy memories. When I found your site online, I knew it would be the perfect way to keep this close to me at all times.”
– Kirsten E.
“My husband bought this jacket on a trip to San Francisco in 1994. We were friends in high school and reconnected at our five year high school reunion later that same year. We started dating long distance shortly thereafter. (he was in Boston, I was in Philadelphia) I will always remember him standing on the train platform at South Station, waiting for me to arrive in Boston for my first visit, wearing this really cool jacket. While he hasn’t worn the jacket in many years, I refused to let him get rid of it. Now because of Remade USA, an old jacket that hung in the back of a closet collecting dust became a gorgeous handbag! Every time I use it, I will be reminded of that special time in our lives. Thank you so much!”
– Samantha M.
This beautiful brown lamb skin jacket belonged to the customer’s grandfather and she has memories of him wearing it often. He also used to wear bow ties. She commissioned us to make the bag for herself and three bow tie necklaces for her and her two sisters.
– Nicole S.
“The long burgundy coat was my first purchase when I moved to New York City to go to school at Columbia and I loved the color of the leather. Since I had come from Northern California, I had zero understanding of real seasons or real cold or snow so that coat turned out, worn over hoodies, to be my only foul weather gear for a few years–totally insufficient, but very well-loved. So even after I discovered real coats and stopped wearing it (and stopped suffering), I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. It’s traveled around with me to the million and one apartments I’ve lived at in Manhattan and Brooklyn for 20 years and now I’ll finally be able to wear it again without freezing to death.”
– Shonquis M.
“This blue jacket has been hanging in my closet since the early 90’s… waiting for the day it would come back in style… I finally gave up. Thank you!”
“We received the bag last week and it’s gorgeous. Just love it. Thank you so much. My sister-in-law will love it. The quality is beautiful and we received it so quickly I couldn’t believe it.”
“I want to THANK YOU for the most beautiful bag – it is PERFECT. I have looked at leather bags for years now but never found one I really liked. This one fits the bill- I absolutely love the work(woman)ship. I love the way you purposed the pockets on the outside…can you tell i just really LOVE this bag? Seems silly, but, every time I use it (i.e. every day) I’m delighted. Thank you for your great work!”
“The bag arrived and is absolutely beautiful…thank you again for your creativity and hard work. I’ve been sharing your website and Facebook page with all of my friends….I love the fact that my bag showed up on the home page of Ethical Style!”
“My bag arrived on Friday and I have been toting it around ever since….I absolutely love the style and the beautiful workmanship….it is hard to believe that this jacket hung in the closet for six years and that you brought it back to life along with the many fond memories…..I will always treasure it….thank you so much.”
“I just got my bags today! I am speechless! They are so awesome I can’t even describe! I love them! I love them! I love them! You even made some bookmarks! Thank you so much for everything! Your work is truly outstanding! I wish you all the success! Take care!”
– Joana R.
“Just wanted to let you know that I am absolutely loving my new bag! Thank you again for all your help!”
“I love it, I love everything about it! Thank you for a beautiful job! Now, I just need to get busy traveling.”
– Judi G.