The Providence Plastic Project—upcyclers committed to extending the useful life of discarded plastics through material innovation and product design.
Our signature material is 100% upcycled from a carefully orchestrated blend of locally sourced discarded plastic bags and textile scraps. We add a little heat, pressure, time, and our love for the earth, to produce a unique hybrid polyethylene-textile that is strong, water repellent, and can be joined by means of heat seals as well as stitching. Each Providence Plastic wallet or bag is unique by virtue of the process with carefully considered colors, graphics, composition, and textures.
It all began in a studio course at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009. A collaboration with nonprofit Waste for Life, the course had a simple objective—make something useful out of discarded plastic bags. Thus was born the first prototype of the Providence Plastic wallet, designed by founder Will Wells. Three years and many iterations later, Will and fellow designer Ryan Venghaus, founded the Providence Plastic Project, or Providence Plastic for short. Eternally grateful to the source of inspiration, Providence Plastic continues to support Waste for Life and their mission:
Providence Plastic partnered with Courtesy Cleaners, the largest dry cleaning company in Rhode Island and an industry model for environmental responsibility, to develop a system for collecting and recycling dry cleaning bags that customers return to their stores. For a fabric source we teamed up with Project Repat, a recycling company with facilities in Fall River, Massachusetts that will turn your old t-shirts into awesome products. The off-cuts from their processes become an integral part of our small soft good accessory sheet material.