The latest product from Subaru will cost you just 2,750 yen or about $20 at current exchange rates. You can take it to the mall but only to put your groceries in since it's a shopping bag. What's so special about it you might ask? It's made from leftover airbag material that was supposed to go into cars but never did. These white bags are available with either blue or pink accents and can be purchased from Subaru's online shop at home in Japan.
To make it happen, Subaru teamed up with Toyoda Gosei, a manufacturer of automotive components in which Toyota has a 43-percent share. Featuring reflective stripes on the handles to make them more visible at night, these bags are 21.6 inches (550 millimeters) long (including handle), 13.4 in (340 mm) wide, and 4.7 in (120 mm) deep.
Subaru shopping bag made from airbag fabric
The shopping bags are part of a wider lineup of products made by Toyoda Gosei with unused materials to promote sustainability and diminish waste. Sold under the "Re-S" banner originating from "re-use" or "re-born" and "sustainability," these items come from the automotive airbags and leather made by the supplier. The materials that fail to pass the company's inspection are given a new lease on life by being repurposed for various types of bags, wallets, pen holders, and even key holders.
At the beginning of the year, Toyoda Gosei and Asics joined forces to introduce a new sneaker made out of airbag fabric and steering wheel leather.
Automakers are also making efforts to reduce industrial waste by putting more and more recycled materials into their cars. In addition, tire supplier Bridgestone is testing tires made from 75 percent recycled and renewable bits such as plastic, steel, and natural rubber.