Hand-made Commuter Bags

Learn how one 417-lander is hand-making commuter bags out of reclaimed materials and selling them to city dwellers all across the country.

    While browsing the internet one day, Isaac Neale stumbled upon a blog post that featured someone who made messenger bags out of recycled materials, and it inspired him to buy a sewing machine and try it out.
Neale is the founder and owner of Commute Bags, a company that sells hand-made bags and accessories for the modern urbanite. The bags are primarily made out of recycled truck tarps that were once used on flatbeds and tractor-trailers. “I tried a lot of products,” Neale says. But after making bags from materials such as recycled vinyl banners and canvas, he learned that the truck tarps were the way to go. “Nothing else had that durability,” Neale says.
With a sewing machine located in the back of The Hub, a coffee and bicycle shop where he also works, Neale and his intern, Katy Jesse, work to create an inventory of commuter messenger-style bags, wallets, smaller bags and accessories. The items are all made of reclaimed materials and are available at a variety of price points, with wallets ranging from $10–30 and messenger bags starting at $150.
Neale can customize items with things such as leather straps and accessories, and he’s made items such as iPad sleeves, keyboard sleeves and even straps for tripods. Neale’s background is in design and engineering, which he says isn’t a far stretch from what he does now. “Working and creating with fabric isn’t too different,” he says. While most of his business is based locally, Neale has also sold bags to residents of many major cities from Seattle to New York.

The 411

Commute Bags
Buy them: The Hub, 811 N. Booneville, Springfield, 417-862-0670, insidethehub.com; etsy.com/shop/commutebags, commutebags.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Articles Like This

Chesterfield, MO

Just three hours northeast of Springfield is a quaint residential enclave known for its numerous shopping areas, outlets and public parks. Hit the road for a family-friendly weekend away in Chesterfield.

Home Field Advantage

Seattle Seahawks’ Justin Britt is a 417-land native who made it from playing under small-town Friday night lights to tackling opponents among cheers of the NFL’s loudest fans. Read about his journey from high school to the pros, and how he gives back to the community that gave him a field to stand on.

Which Crafting Party is for Me?

Use this flowchart to discover your ideal way to release your creativity, then invite a group of your pals and plan an evening of crafts and conversation.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Sign up for our newsletters Follow us on Instagram

Edit ModuleShow Tags

  1. 10 Most Beautiful Women 2015
    We’re so excited to introduce you to the 10 winners—every single one of them gorgeous both...
  2. Guide to Fall Festivals
    It’s fall festival season, and southwest Missouri does it up right!
  3. Ettie's Eats: Grilled Rosemary Poundcake
    Add some oomph to the beloved pound cake with a dash of rosemary and a spoonful of warm apricot...
  4. Meeting the African Queen
    After years of speculation and mystery, the home along Lone Pine Avenue in Springfield is finally...
  5. Ettie's Eats: Hot Tomato Salad
    Need a new idea of how to use up this season's crop of juicy tomatoes? The search is over!
Edit Module
Edit Module