Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- VIDEO: Flashback Friday! Nick Carter Drops New Single and Music Video '19 in 99'
- Read the Cover Story: Amy Duggar King: I'm Doing It My Way
- How Rory Feek's Life and Joey's Cancer Has Eerily Mirrored Their Manager's Journey
- Tony Goldwyn Teases Scandal's Winter Premiere: 'Fitz Is Alone Really for the First Time in His Life'
- DeKoding Kardashian Style: The Scoop on That Sheer Turtleneck Kim Wears in Every Other Insta Pic
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 12, 1991
- Vol. 36
- No. 5
All Tired Out
Two Ecologically Minded Entrepreneurs Make Their Fashion Statement with Used Pirellis and Michelins
MacPherson designs and Trotter markets rubber wares, which include purses, pouches, knapsacks, cycle saddlebags, belts and sandals, ranging in price from $10 to $180. "People know about the rain forests but not about piles of tires," says MacPherson. "[Our products] start out as inner tubes and end up as nice handbags. We're an example of what you can do with waste."
MacPherson has been getting mileage out of used tires since 1984. While taking art classes at the Rhode Island School of Design, she fashioned a lopsided book bag out of an old inner tube. Soon she and a classmate were peddling their retreads to shops in New England and New York. After graduating from Brown University in 1986, the Connecticut-born MacPherson moved to San Francisco, where she met Trotter, a California native and customer-relations official who became her sales representative. "They're fantastic products," Trotter says. "I knew they had potential."
Today, retail customers and rubberneckers are finding their way to the duo's tiny store on Haight Street. The company grossed $13,000 in its first year, 1989, but the partners expect to triple their business in 1991, thanks to deals with Fred Segal's Santa Monica boutique and Seventh Generation, a catalog of environmental products. To keep up with increasing demand, MacPherson and Trotter—who have become romantic partners as well—forage regularly for discards. Dumpsters, tire dealers, even shoulders of nearby freeways yield rich raw materials.
MacPherson cuts the inner tubes into strips, washes them and cuts them into patterns at the converted warehouse where she and Trotter live. An assistant helps her hand stitch and fasten the rubber pieces with rivets and washers. Most in demand are bags with brand names like Firestone, Michelin and especially Pirelli, the Italian manufacturer. "They call it the Gucci of rubber," says Trotter. But unlike designer leather, Used Rubber's bags are waterproof, stainproof and come with a lifetime guarantee. So there's no need for spares. And should your bag get damaged, Trotter promises, "You can always bring it in for an overhaul."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!