In a just-launched campaign, New York-based brand Anybag merged New York hustle culture and unbridled passion for public good (specifically, safeguarding the environment), into one upcycled keepsake bag.
“Anybag’s ‘Thank You, Have a Nice Day’ drop was a play on the city’s attempt at a ban of single-use plastic bags,” said founder Alex Dabagh. “We took an iconic and recognizable graphic and screen-printed it on 50 limited-edition classic Anybags, woven from 4,750 single-use plastic bags. Then we shot our campaign on Canal Street as a nod to the street’s bootlegging and knockoff culture.”
Dabagh owns one of the oldest and largest operating leather goods factories in New York City that his dad started in 1982 called Park Avenue International. “We sample and produce goods for just about every designer you can think of and have our own proprietary brands, Made by Alex and Anybag,” he told WWD.
While the Made by Alex brand incorporates mostly leather one-offs using scrap leathers that are collected and woven together, Anybag (which is short for “A New York Bag”) aims to turn trash into treasure by upcycling New York City’s plastic trash into woven textile accessories. In the last 16 months, the brand has diverted more than 13,000 pounds of plastic (or roughly 680,000 single-use plastic bags) from reaching landfills.
To date, Anybag has collected more than half a million plastic bags, which is equivalent to about 12,000 lbs of plastic. More than 2,500 Anybags have sold through its website Anybag.com, according to the brand. The limited-edition bags retail for $148, while smaller wares like a passport holder retail for $38.
Dabagh said it’s the long-running vision that motivates him, and campaigns like his most recent one capture climate optimism with all the oddity that defines New York.
“Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes before being sent to landfill to exist for 1,000 years. I want to revolutionize the way plastic is viewed, pressing legislators to close the tap and raising consumer awareness of our personal habits and power. This is my way of giving back to the city that raised me, and building for a better future for all,” he said.