Bespoke R Products: Meet star sustainable designer transforming complex waste

You know us, we hate waste. This includes materials rescued from luxury fashion businesses - which comes in the thousands of yards of gleamingly brand new fabrics - to more grimey and jaw-droppingly complex waste, like car airbags, tuk tuk covers, strap and tyre waste rescued from industrial yards.

As a small social impact business on a big mission to rescue, reuse and recycle waste, we also travel to far-flung places to rescue unique waste streams for bespoke collaborations with our corporate partners.

Bespoke R Products Corporate Collaborations: 

Spotlight on our exclusive UBS collaboration 


We crafted a one-of-a-kind backpack exclusively for UBS from a complex mosaic of rescued waste materials - think car airbags, tuk tuk covers, strap and tyre waste, alongside rescued deadstock! - symbolising a triumph in giving waste a second life. 


Sustainable designers and partnership at the core of our business values 

You know us, we love to collaborate. This bespoke R Products was born through our strong partnerships and collaborations. Our backpack was created exclusively for UBS together with our industrial waste upcycling brand partner, SO4, which has award-winning sustainable fashion designer, Ruth Weerasinghe hailing from Sri Lanka at the helm.

We hear from designer Ruth about why and how she’s getting tough on industrial waste. 

You love industrial waste. How did you rescue this tricky waste into corporate products for UBS? 

I’ve always been fascinated by industrial waste. I pass by various industrial zones near my home town and it struck me what an abundant source of interesting materials I have on my doorstep.  Lots of people turn a blind eye to seemingly grimey, low-value materials. Not me! I believe we should look at ‘waste’ as a raw material. 

What were your biggest challenges?

The project was extremely challenging in many ways, mainly because of the unique waste we rescued for reuse. The air bags were a real labour of love to rescue! They required so much cleaning and cutting and preparation before we could design into them. But this in itself is a good example of how to look at ‘waste’ differently, because airbags are robust materials that can be used for many other purposes as a quality and durable fabric. 

You’re also passionate about your local community. Tell us more. 

I work with my local communities in Sri Lanka, who have much to offer in terms of skills to provide circular solutions. Jobs are really needed here. Their empty sewing machines and troubled bank balances are a real worry to me. So getting this UBS project and powering their skills and sewing machines was a pleasure. We created jobs and economic benefits to my local community.

Tell us about your own brand, SO4 

I have an industrial sustainable streetwear upcycling brand SO4, which rescues industrial waste to create unique clothing and accessories. SO4 works with locals within Sri Lanka to rescue these materials and recraft them into products of high value and durability. 

How did the Redress Design Award sustainable fashion design competition influence you?

I’m a Redress Design Award alumni, of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. My entire Redress Design Award experience broadened my upcycling practice. I met other designers across the world, who have themselves explored various methods of upcycling, and so being in this global network magnifies to power of sustainable design as a design solution to waste. 


Want to know more? 

Check out our R Products catalogue here.
Go behind the scenes of a recent UBS bespoke collaboration here.
Have inquiries? Reach out to us here.

Shop now