As the name suggests, Alchemy Goods – or as their logo has it, Ag – specialise in turning something worthless into something valuable. In this case, old bike inner tubes and car seatbelts into cycling bags and accessories.
Why bags? Inner tubes are waterproof, durable, stain-resistant and, according to Ag, “develop a finish over time that gives them the soft feeling of a fine Italian leather”. And seatbelts are ideally suited for use as shoulder straps – after all, that’s what they’re designed to do in a car.
The Seattle-based company get old tubes from US outdoor chain REI and local bike shops, and scour car junkyards for belts. Unlike some recycled goods, the finished products are premium items, handmade in the USA and with pricetags to match – £75-£125 for the bags.
Each product is unique, with inner tube logos and even puncture patches clearly visible, and valve stems used as zip pullers. As well as backpacks, courier bags, laptop sleeves and even handbags, Ag also sell inner tube belts and wallets; check out the image gallery for more details. The company now have a dedicated UK website, www.agbags.co.uk, in addition to their US site, www.alchemygoods.com.