St. Pete seamstress turns discarded sails, burlap, vinyl into fashion accessories

Forget designer handbags. Sustainable is fashionable and a St. Petersburg designer is transforming discarded goods into exciting accessories.

Danni LeTendre makes handbags, satchels, and totes from things like burlap coffee bean bags, vinyl signs, sails, vintage clothes, and even atlases and books.

She started six years ago after looking for the perfect bag and coming up empty-handed.

LeTendre found materials she liked at thrift stores and decided to make her own. Then she became inspired to make more.

"I really love talking to people about the story of each bag at markets,” LeTendre told FOX 13. “I love that personal interaction and being able to say, ‘Yes, this purse has a story, this is where I found this and this is how it came together, and now it's going off and going back into the wild.’ It makes me really excited when people see the value of upcycling and the value of reinventing old materials."

Now she sews every day, making briefcases, zippered pouches, luggage tags, and even clothes.

"Some of the maps that I get out these vintage atlases I turn into pouches and card holders and probably my most popular items out of the maps is the luggage tags, so they're from all over the U.S., all over the world, 1950s to the 1980s," she explained.

"When I see the amount of product that I get and realize that that would fill a dumpster easily, it makes me really feel wonderful that I'm able to take it, cut it, up reposition it, reinvent it, and put it out as something useful."

Spring Green Handbags can be found at markets around the Bay Area and on Facebook and Etsy.

Image 1 of 8