Sustainable Systems Final: Design for a Long Life

For my long life final project, I wanted to create an object that would reduce the use of non-sustainable materials in my own life. Brainstorming, I considered what disposable products I used every day or so. My mind went instantly to plastic snack bags. These convenient bags allow me to carry my food with me, but ultimately end up in landfills.

How could I construct a sustainable product that had the same functionality of the bags I already use? I looked into ways of reusing plastic bags, wanting to create a waterproof, washable lining and get rid of my heaps of plastic bags. Two birds one stone! I found out about the technique of plastic melding and began work on this step first. View the images below to see the steps of plastic melding.

I then tried to source hemp fabric while in Canada, but did not have luck. I went to the next best thing, 100% cotton, which is a strong material and will be able to be returned to the cycle if needed.

I measured and cut the fabric and plastic sheet in order to have a plastic sheet slightly smaller than the fabric pouch. I first pinned the plastic material and began to hand sew the pattern I had sketched out previously.

I hand-sewed the two edges of the plastic, leaving me with the pouch-shaped piece. I also tapered the edges of the flap to create a better closing.

I repeated the same process with the slightly wider fabric, turning it inside out to create a nicer appearing seam.

I then installed two buttons to the plastic pouch and one button to the fabric in order to keep both layers as sealed as possible.

I tested out the buttons, but otherwise, I was complete my process!

Though it took a long time to hand-sew, it was a simple enough stitch for me to handle and the bag really kept together after closing it and trying it out. I was very satisfied with my final product and saw myself or others easily repeating the steps of the plastic layer if they were to need to replace this section. My storyboard illustrated this process of reproducing and replacing the interior.

The bag turned out very functional and upon presenting my product I was satisfied to see that my classmates appreciated the concept as well as the final product. I did not know how the product would turn out, but I was very excited about the concept, so I am glad that I am as satisfied with the final presentation.

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