Hartjess is Jessica Van Abeelen Melker based in the Netherlands. Jessica makes upcycled tote bags from an array of different fabrics, from used jeans to table cloths. A combination of new and used material ensures green production methods and overall quality and durability.
We are so pleased that Jessica is making these special bags in collaboration with grantLOVE! Every grantLOVE x Hartjess tote bag is unique and handmade.
grantLOVE: How did you learn to sew?
Jessica Van Abeelen Melker: When I was 11 years old I followed a sewing course, because I wanted to make clothes for my baby sister. After that, many years went by. Sometimes I took my mother's sewing machine and made whatever came to mind... totes... and a play mat for my son. Everything I made was self-taught. Mostly I learned by just doing it a lot, and am still learning every day!
grantLOVE: Why are you interested in making fashion more sustainable?
JVAM: I want to make sustainable bags because I really feel that we are all participating in overconsumption and wanting to become aware that what we make and buy has such a big impact on the environment. It feels great when I've finished a bag knowing that before it was a bag it was a pair of jeans or another pair of trousers. Or a table cloth or duvet cover. Or a blouse....! The fabric gets a second life, in fact!
grantLOVE: What attracted you to the grantLOVE project?
JVAM: I think the grantLOVE project offers a platform and a voice for various artists. It works both ways, the project helps the artist and the artist helps the project. During our collaboration I really felt seen and appreciated by you all.
grantLOVE: Thank you! We feel the same way!
See Jessica's grantLOVE x Hartjess bags here.