From Airbags to Messenger Bags – KEEN Introduces a New Collection

A new collection by outdoor sportswear company KEEN turns airbags into messenger bags, backpacks, tote bags and wallets.

Outdoor sportswear company KEEN has launched a new collection called the Harvest III Series, which is made (in the USA) from pre-consumer automobile airbags. Side impact bags have been collected, over-dyed to give them a rich saturated color and upcycled into seven different styles of totes, bags and wallets.

So how do you go from airbag to messenger bag? First, left over, excess and obsolete airbags are sourced from an airbag manufacturer to a recycler in Salt Lake City and are then sorted and shipped to a factory in Chico, California. The white bags are put aside to make the white colorways and the remaining bags are dyed and laundered at a dye house.

The colored airbags are then sorted and cut into the bag pattern pieces either by hand using a rotary knife or by die-cut machine. All the pieces to make one specific style are gathered together and given to crafters to complete the product.

This process requires a high level of creativity and craftsmanship, and to celebrate this each item is hand-numbered and signed by the crafter who made it.

The Harvest III Series features five bags and two wallet styles, priced from $20 – $120.


Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.