Want an urban purse that’ll make an eco-statement? Try English Retreads. Upcycled from old truck and tractor inner tubes — usually with 60,000 miles on them! — English Retreads’ accessories have rugged urban style — and are pretty much indestructible too.

I got the Cruiser (right) a couple years ago as a birthday gift from Summer, who sells them at her eco-boutique, BTC Elements. Since then, the purse has gotten me lots of compliments — especially at Green Drinks. My camera, purse and phone fit snugly into the Cruiser, making it the perfect size for a blogger on the go.

There are a couple things I think could be improved about the Cruiser, however. For one, the purse can leave faint black tire marks on white clothes! Luckily, my closet looks like that of a witch — almost everything’s black — and my eco-friendly dry cleaner easily got the purse stains out of my white trench. Still, those who tend to dress like a new bride should be warned.

I also find the one-snap closure a tad inadequate, since stuff can slip out the top — I once broke a brand new Gabrielle powder compact this way. That made me more careful, so I’ve avoided mishaps since….

Many English Retreads’ purses have closed tops though. Pick from a bunch of different styles and sizes, from laptop bags to clutches to wallets. You can get recycled belts, dog collars, and key ring attachments too. All of English Retreads’ products are made in Boulder, Colorado.

Shop on English Retreads’ website for the full catalogue, or get the Mini Tote (right) on sale at BTC Elements for $47.

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