Taylor: I’ll entertain the purchase of just about anything handmade in Europe, especially if it is a bag or pack (for example, I’ll admit, recently I just bought a pair of sheep shears handmade in England, just to hang on my wall). So its no surprise that peace4you is a hot spot on my radar.
peace4you. Handmade in Brernerhaven, Germany by Mr. Karl Paul. They’re about $300-$450 USD per unit, but quite a lot of thought and effort goes into each one of their creations. Once you explore a bit deeper into their detailed process and their sensible ethos, those prices begin to look rather affordable…
From their site…
“The problem: In western civilization millions of tons of different materials are ending as garbage every month. So natural resources will be coming to an end soon.
The solution: Let´s try to stop this course of time. peace4you.net is going to launch a product, which can reduce this problem. There is absolutely no need to invent the wheel over and over again.”
Their materials (fabrics, leathers, hardware, etc) are sourced from all over Europe, from army surplus stores and other various sources. Some examples are old Navy-kitbags, French army-tents, used leather-jackets or even woolen jackets. From what I can take from their website, it appears 90% of their materials are from World War II equipment.
“As an result of this work we talk about “upcycling” products. It is guaranteed that every item is a unique copy.”
The bags all utilize classic silhouettes, for simplicity of function and beauty. Innovation is great, but it can be a very daunting challenge to make something simple. Einstein said something similar to that. This is precisely what peace4you has done. Streamlined a complex process of sourcing and upcycling into well-executed simple pieces. Each bag is custom made to order based off of the model you select from the website, and it appears you can even have custom options added or removed upon request I’ve seen this system of upcycling done before, and only a few unique individuals can pull it off (Killspencer and Freitag do it well as two examples), but usually the final result of this process ends up looking like an arts and crafts project, or a “hippy” green sack. Not this time. I can imagine this bag traveling on the back of someone on a casual a bicycle ride along a steam in the Cotswolds in England, equally as much as over the shoulder of someone running down the streets of Paris, NYC, or Milan to hail a taxi.
peace4you brings fresh new life to these vintage used war-torn materials, and they do it with class and a high level of refinement. I even find the idea a bit romantic, created in Germany, primarily from World War II military scrap, to be sold worldwide with a name like “peace4you”. I’m not sure if that was an original intention, but that is my interpretation.
I’m currently trying to get in touch with Mr. Karl Paul to request a particular peace4you messenger bag to take on a Carryology Road Test so I can share a review of my hands on impressions with our community here. I have a sneaking suspicion that these bags are as incredible in person as I’m guessing they are. But for now, from their online photos, I can say they are incredibly handsome bags that appear to function nicely.
Check out their etsy store, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/peace4you (their etsy store allows for international ordering, where their peace4you.net redirects you to their etsy store for international).