Hello and thanks for taking a moment to find out about BeenBin. I’m Susannah Lemon, founder and designer maker of bags and purses using old bicycle inner tubes in the city of Bath, UK.
We revive filthy discarded rubber tubes and hand/machine stitch them into clean, beautifully shiny tactile bags and pouches. BeenBin focuses on using what has been in the bin or is destined to languish as rubbish in a hole in the ground. Currently, we’re excited to be working with Japanese fabrics that were once kimonos but have stains or rips making them unwearable.
I graduated in 3D Design from the Bath School of Art & Design at Bath Spa University in 2017. My degree afforded me amazing opportunities to play with materials as diverse as clay, metal, wood, plaster, resin and plastic. It was at university that I learned how much pleasure I got from finding ways to join things together that didn’t involve glue.
Since 2018, I’ve continued playing with found materials in my studio at Bath Artists’ Studios (BAS). We are a friendly collective of 50 or so artists, designers and craft makers just off Upper Bristol Road in Bath. When I’m not in the studio, I love skip-diving and searching for more street treasures to work with.
We’re often asked ‘Why do you bother with filthy and old materials that are difficult to use when you can buy new ones without having to clean them up first?’ It’s precisely because other makers won’t go near found materials that we choose to. At BeenBin, we love nothing more than a design challenge and whatever comes out of it will be completely unique. And in case there’s any doubt, yes, it’s all clean!
Do you have a broken/unusable thing we could upcycle and transform into something new? We welcome any of the following:
- used inner tubes (with or without punctures)
- broken umbrellas
- leaky/torn tents
- old/holey T-shirts, lycra, jersey (stretchy fabrics in any condition)
- stained/old tea towels
Do get in touch about donating your unwanted possessions Susannah@BeenBin.com. Or come to one of our upcoming market events in Bath or Bristol.