Bags From Train Seats Put PUP in National Marketplace

Posted: Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

An Indianapolis-based nonprofit that creates wallets, handbags and backpacks from reclaimed materials is launching a nationally-focused line of products for the first time. People for Urban Progress, which sells hand-made items from materials including the fabric from the old Hoosier Dome and signage from when Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl, is repurposing leather from the seats in Amtrak's Boston to Washington D.C. Acela Express trains. The new line includes the Agent Backpack, Passenger Tote and Dispatch Dopp Kit.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, PUP Executive Director Andrea Cowley said the partnership with Amtrak opens the door to a wider market. "The audience before has always been super hyper-local to Indianapolis," she said, "and now we're going to have customers from all over the country." The leather being used by PUP comes from a revamp effort by the passenger rail provider that includes replacing more than 6,000 leather seats on the Acela line. PUP says the will create the three bags and some additional items until the leather runs out.

"One of the things that we noticed as we're working with this leather is that there is two different types of leather: there's business class and then there's first-class leather, which is actually a heavier weight and a different color," Cowley said. "We've been prototyping a larger bag that you can take for like a weekend trip, so we're going to probably call it The Weekender and it's going to be made out of nicer leather, so it's going to be a higher price point, but it's also going to be a more premium product."

Cowley says the organization has spent "an incredible amount of time and money" developing prototypes of the leather bags and developing a production process to handle the new line over the next year. The partnership with Amtrak, which involves the transit company's donation of the leather, will result in a some growth for PUP, Cowley says. A handful of part-time jobs to clean, cut and stitch the new wares will be added to meet demand. "What really looks to be the future of PUP is that we're going to be generating jobs in our neighborhood for people who are local makers," Cowley added. She says the organization's urban re-use mission should be duplicated in all cities.

You can connect to more about PUP's new line of bags using Amtrak seat leather by clicking here.

  • Perspectives

    • Time Management: When and How to Work to Your Max Productivity

      Time is the one resource in your life that is neither replenishable nor renewable. Regardless of how you spin it, everyone starts each day on an equal playing field with 24 hours in the time bank. And while people often yearn for more time, what they really need is better time management. Understanding where your time goes, when you are most productive, and why you should protect yourself against distractions are the keys to achieving your max productivity.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo courtesy of MutualBank

      MutualBank President Dies

      The President and Chief Operating Officer of Muncie-based MutualBank Pat Botts has died. In a statement on Facebook posted Sunday, the company said the passing was unexpected.

    • Photo courtesy of Indiana Premium outlets

      Simon Announces New Name for Shopping Center

      Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has announced Edinburgh Premium Outlets will become Indiana Premium Outlets. The company says extensive enhancements are currently underway to reflect the new name and are slated for completion by Holiday 2019. 

    • (file photo courtesy of Radial)

      Radial to Hire 1,800 Seasonal Workers in Brownsburg

      Pennsylvania-based Radial Inc. has announced plans to grow its seasonal workforce in Brownsburg. The company, which opened its 700,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the Hendricks County city in June, says it will add 1,800 workers ahead of the holiday season. Radial is an e-commerce technology and operations company and says a dramatic increase in online spending will lead to higher demand for workers at the new facility this year. The jobs will mainly be...

    • Artist rendering of proposed headquarters for Ruoff Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

      Ruoff to Build New HQ in Downtown Fort Wayne

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Home Mortgage has announced plans to build a $43 million corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Plans call for a 110-thousand square foot, nine-story structure, at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would include leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It would overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The company is currently located on...

    • (photo courtesy of Aptiv)

      Irish Tech Company Coming to Westfield

      An Ireland-based technology company has announced plans to set up operations in Westfield. The city says Aptiv PLC (NYSE: APTV) will invest more than $9 million to open an engineering lab in the Westfield Business Centre and bring in 50 jobs.