Indianapolis makers PUP (People for Urban Progress) teamed up with Amtrak to bring you a collection of gotta-have travel bags and luggage that gives new life to Amtrak’s retired leather train seats.
And, yes, they actually look amazing.
The Amtrak Collection features everything you’d need for a trip, from a credit card holder to a full-on weekender bag. The latest collection was released last Thanksgiving, and we're still obsessed! Every piece is hand-made in PUP’s studio by local Indianapolis artisans.
PUP is a non-profiting organization with the mission to combine good design with civic sustainability by producing high-quality, stylish products that are constructed of recycled and reusable materials. The company operates off the understanding that just because something is “used,” it doesn’t make it unusable. “In an urban context, sustainability isn’t just about solar panels and recycling,” their website says. “It’s about rethinking waste and being smart with what we have.”
The partnership between PUP and Amtrak came about in 2018 when Amtrak was renovating 6,080 seats in its Acela trains. PUP stepped in and salvaged the seatback leather to reroute it from the landfill. The iconic blue leather now functions as superbly stylish items such as credit card holders, sunglasses cases, crossbody bags, backpacks, weekender bags, and more—most bearing Amtrak’s stitched logo. Some of the collections in the piece also utilized other parts of the seats, like the belts from the seatbelts.
It goes without saying that these bags make the perfect holiday or whenever gifts for train lovers or travelers in general. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that purchasing one of these bags supports an eco-friendly initiative that helps repurpose materials—into things you actually want to own—that would otherwise end up wasted in a landfill.
For a BTS look at how PUP created The Amtrak Collection or to view the current batch, click here.