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In Uncategorized

By Jenny

Recycled Tire Wallet: A Product Review by Assistant Manager Tim Kelly

On 29, Jun 2017 | In Uncategorized | By Jenny

I’ve always tried to move with intention. As Americans we have more options of material goods at our fingertips than anyone ever before. This is a great power, but with great power comes great responsibility. In my life, I have tried to be a conscious consumer. Whether it be the plants I plant in my yard, the materials I surround myself with, or the food I put in my body, I have strived to make healthier more educated choices in my life.

When my wallet began to fray, tear, and start showing the effects of the years, I knew the time was drawing closer to the day I would need to choose a new wallet. Given to me as a gift, this old worn wallet was made of eco-leather. Eco-leather is leather that has not been treated with toxic chemical preservatives such as formaldehyde. It seems the paradigm for American men is to have a leather wallet. Being a vegetarian, I personally wanted to move away from animal hide. There are also some nice canvas wallets but many of them have Velcro. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ethically have anything against Velcro, I mean besides the fact that it’s polyester. My aversion to a wallet with Velcro is more of a personal preference. The idea of emitting the Velcro sound every time I open my wallet makes me wince.

This is our new paper wallet from the Phillipines.

This is our new paper wallet from the Phillipines.

One of our selection of recycled cement bag wallets from Cambodia.

One of our selection of recycled cement bag wallets from Cambodia.













Before I became happily employed at HumanKind, I had been looking at the store’s selection of wallets. After a month and a half at Humankind and armed with a little research, I was ready to make my purchase. My decision wasn’t another eco-leather wallet. (Yes, Humankind has those.) I could have gone for a wallet made out of recycled cement bags from Cambodia or a paper wallet from the Philippines. (Yes HumanKind carries all of those options as well.) My choice for a new wallet was one made out of recycled tires. Yes, this tri-fold wallet is made in Cambodia from durable motorbike tires. The organization behind this wallet is called Friends International. By providing fair, living wages to their artisans, Friends International directly helps them provide for their children and keep them in school. Through outreach programs, Friends International also supports 20,000 at-risk children.

Here is one of the artisans from Friends International working on her sewing machine.

Artisans from Friends International

Friends International Artisan 2

Artisans from Friends International

Friends International artisan

Artisans from Friends International











My new wallet is black and has the texture of the hide of a tire, so to the casual observer it might appear to be leather. Since each wallet is made from a different tire, each one is slightly different. I chose one with two red lines cut across the treads. It has a grey and white striped interior with two sections for credit cards and a window for a driver’s license. All and all, I like the look of the wallet. To me it has an almost punk rock feel to it or perhaps it might be the wallet one would expect to find in the back pocket of the musician Jack White. Oh, and one of my favorite features… no Velcro, it has a snap button.

inside of wallet

The striped interior of Tim’s wallet.

The front flap of Tim's wallet.

The front flap of Tim’s wallet.


Here is Tim's new wallet with two distinctive stripes down the front.

Tim’s new wallet features two distinctive stripes down the front.