Like so many good ideas, the inspiration for eco-accessory line aGaiN NYC arose over a hot cup of coffee. Frazzled by all the needless paper accompanying her daily java purchase -- the pile of napkins, the paper bag -- designer Allison Teich vowed to help cut back on the amount of waste produced by the planet.

After scouring flea markets and vintage shops for discarded treasures in funky patterns, Teich began creating handbags from reused and repurposed materials (including exotic fabrics like the Hawaiian barkcloth featured in this pocket bag). aGaiN NYC's collection of sustainably sassy clutches, hobos, and totes is entirely artisan-crafted in Brooklyn and -- thanks to Teich's involvement in One Percent for the Planet -- helps fund environmental organizations worldwide.

Story by Liz Barker. This article originally appeared in Plenty in July 2007. This story was added to in September 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2007.