However cool, the concept of transforming an old rice sack — complete with odd, eye-catching graphics, bold primary colors, and foreign texts — into an eco-exotic tote or handbag isn’t exactly new. I see ‘em around town all the time (last summer, I decided to, ahem, go against the grain by buying a manpurse made from recycled Korean street banners).

On thing that I don’t see all the time are recycled rice sacks that have been rejiggered into home accessories. But leave it to Urban Outfitters to carry something a bit unexpected …

UO sells (online only) three super nifty, no-two-are-exactly alike home storage pieces made from repurposed rice sacks: a storage bin ($24) perfect for magazines, books, and assorted clutter, a jewelry box ($24) complete with mirror and special compartments, and my favorite, a collapsible clothes hamper ($28). Snatch up one (or two or three) while they last.


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.