Ecoist Partners with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to Launch a New Limited Collection of Handbags Made from NYC Subway Maps

Miami, FL May 28, 2008 - Fashion is driven by recognizable icons. The New York City subway map with its colorful lines and bubble-enclosed letters is an indelible facet of New York City. Now fashion lovers and design mavens can sport a piece of New York history this spring when Ecoist, the Miami-based brand associated with fashion-forward environmentally-friendly products, launches their new limited-edition collection of recycled subway map handbags.

You'll never feel lost with the new Ecoist subway map purses and clutches made from repurposed subway maps. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) granted official license to Ecoist to produce these products by reusing and recycling these subway maps and transforming them into coveted accessories. Much like their popular candy wrapper purses made from factory discards, Ecoist is able to create beautiful, unique fashion objects that are both stylish and eco-conscious. The New York City subway maps that form the basis of the handbags are either misprinted or outdated versions of the much-beloved graphic design.

“It’s exciting to work with a company like Ecoist that is taking our trash and turning it into beautiful handbags. Not only are they helping us reduce our environmental footprint, but we are helping to create more awareness on environmentally and socially responsible consumption. “ says Gail Goldberg, Manager of Retail Operations and Product Development for the MTA’s New York Transit Museum stores.

New York fans will love the four different styles including the super-functional coin purse ($26), the chic every/any bag ($32), the long and rounded clutch called the baguette ($52), and the functional Pochette ($52) which comes with a shoulder strap and snugly fits essentials like a cellphone, keys and wallet. Subway map details like names of stations, lines and street names are easily visible on the bags, providing fun and entertaining details. Keeping in mind the needs of their urban-savvy customers, Ecoist has produced the bags with a layer of biodegradable cellophane placed on the maps to keep the bags water resistant and durable, perfect for busy women on the go.

Each bag is one-of-a-kind and exemplifies Ecoist's dedication to individual design and craftsmanship. Following in the company's tradition of fair-trade employment policies, the bags are handcrafted by artisans in Peru and Mexico.

“For several years now we’ve been repurposing candy wrappers, soda labels, and other food packages to use as raw materials for our handbags,” says Ecoist. “Now, we’ve given our classic woven Ecoist handbags a new look using waste-bound NY subway maps. We are thrilled that the MTA has partnered with us” says Ecoist co-founder Jonathan Marcoschamer.

In addition to creating socially responsible fashion, Ecoist also plants a tree for every bag purchased, reinforcing their commitment to helping to reduce the environmental footprint of production.

About Ecoist

Founded in 2004, Ecoist develops fashion accessories for the eco-minded individual. The company’s objective is to merge design with social and environmental consciousness to provide stylish, functional, and durable products that people will love to own. All products are made from recycled, organic, or earth-friendly materials, and are manufactured through a network of fair trade partnerships around the world.

Ecoist is mostly known for its line of handbags made from recycled candy wrappers, food packages, and soda labels and its growing list of partners such as Coca-Cola, AVEDA, and Cliff Bar, among others. However, over the past few years, Ecoist has been partnering with eco-minded designers to market new products made from recycled movie billboards, recycled soda-can pull-tabs, as well as organic fabrics.

As part of its commitment to environmental restoration, Ecoist plants a tree for every handbag sold.