In this month’s column for Sligo Now Magazine, I tell you about a fantastic new label called Project by LX, which is just about to launch. The range of products are up-cycled from wetsuits, kites and bike-tubes to name but a few materials. The launch-product portfolio consists of laptop cases, unisex wallets and purses. Last year, during Sligo Design Week I met founder Veronika when the idea was only in its infancy. Ten months later, I’m thrilled to see her project coming to life.
Originally from The Czech Republic, Veronika came to Ireland in Spring 2009 for a job at Google. She’d always enjoyed the outdoors and sports such as horse-riding, kayaking, climbing, hiking and snow sports. It was only after moving to Ireland that see discovered surfing: ‘it became more than just a sport for me; It became a way of life and influenced many of my decisions…for the better I think.’ After five and half years living in Dublin and chasing waves west coast at weekends, Veronika finally mustered the courage to swap the comfort of her office job for the uncertainty of starting her own business in the North West.
Let’s hear more from Veronika and Project by LX.
How did your lifestyle influence this collection?
‘My passion for outdoors, surfing and travelling the world made me be very close to nature. Surfing around the world in the last few years made me aware about the ever increasing amount of plastic both in the oceans and on the land, so I made the decision to adopt a more eco-conscious lifestyle. I try to avoid buying over-packaged goods as much as possible, re-use plastic bottles and I upcycle anything from clothes to furniture. I pick up litter from beaches after my surf-sessions or during my beach walks. I changed my shopping habits too from fast fashion to slow fashion. I pick items which will last me longer, avoid trends and I repair my old clothes instead of throwing them in a bin.’
The idea was born…
‘The idea of upcycling old sports gear first crossed my mind when I ripped my wetsuit while getting out of water at Easkey. There was no way I could throw it away, so I made a laptop case out of it and that’s how the idea was born. It took me two more years to create a proper business concept out of it.
Describe your collection.
‘First I thought only about upcycling wetsuits, but a few of my kiting and sailing buddies gave me their old sails and kites along with their wetsuits, so I added them to the mix! Now the materials we upcycle include: wetsuits, kites, sails, windsails, bike-tubes and tents. We are planning to take on even more materials such as climbing ropes, trampolines and so on. Our launch-product portfolio consists of three types of laptop cases, small unisex wallets and girls purses/wallets. Over next 3 months we are planning to add a tablet sleeve, tote-bag and one more purse/make-up bag.
‘Our style is a mix of modern, urban/industrial, minimalistic look with 80’s disco colours. We use strong, technical materials such as wetsuits and bike-tubes (bike-tubes look and feel like a leather once stitched in together!). And then we combine that with either colourful metallic thread or shiny neon colours from kites, sails and windsails. (Mind you, many of the wind-sails are, in fact, from 80’s!)’
‘Our products are made to suit our lifestyle both in the city and by the beach. One thing I personally really like about the products is the heritage – many of our products carry partial letterings, logos or ornaments from the gear they were upcycled from. I think it gives it a nice edge. No two products are 100% the same and it’s also a gentle reminder, that things don’t have to be thrown away after they stop serving the purpose they were originally made for.’
When and where can we buy your products?
‘We are launching our website www.projectbylx.com early September. There are also a few shops around Donegal and Sligo that will have a taster-selection of our products available. Narosa in Dunfanaghy and FinMcCool’s surf shop in Rossnowlagh. The number of shops will expand within the coming weeks.’
Here’s wishing Veronika and Project by LX every success.
Thanks for reading,