Enoch Cincotta was living in Miami Beach when they suddenly started to notice the trash. Not in a particularly bad way, mind you. At the time, Cincotta had just started Reanimator Threadworks, making bags for themselves and friends, and after a few months of that they couldn’t help but notice the garbage.
“While I was exploring the city I saw all sorts of discarded materials, inflatable pools, sun shades, bicycle tubes — these materials were eerily similar to the products I was spending a small fortune on” said Cincotta. “Suddenly everything clicked. I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to how much waste was being generated by my artistic process, and how I take sourcing materials for granted.”
You see, while making bags by hand can be a sustainable process, it’s not immune to the general cycles of waste we’re all kind of stuck in, Cincotta explains. “I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to how much waste was being generated by my artistic process, and how I take sourcing materials for granted,” they said. “Find the material online, purchase, and get it in the mail two days later. It doesn’t make sense to me anymore.”
And so, Cinocotta started making their bags from the discarded materials from local businesses. Old signage, unused bags, tubes and so on. If it’s durable, can be sewn into something, then Cincotta wants to figure out some way to transform it into a bag. “The idea is that we have everything we already need, we just need to be creative with it — I want to promote that in my work,” they said. “Now, instead of just mindlessly buying new materials I think to myself: What is the purpose of the gear I’m making? What physical characteristics does it need to be usable and efficient? What materials do I already have that I can utilize?”
Part of what Cincotta wants to accomplish with Reanimator Threadworks is not only showing others what a little creativity and ingenuity can accomplish with stuff that’s otherwise considered “garbage,” but also using their own knowledge and resources to help others do the same. “30% of profits from sales are invested into facilitating free community sewing workshops — boosting the local economy by creating a skilled labor force and promoting self sufficiency,” said Cincotta. “By advocating for a renewed appreciation for garbage, and providing a public opportunity to learn practical skills, Reanimator Threadworks is intent on building a stronger and more resilient community one stitch at a time.”
Now based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Cincotta plans to make the trip from their shop to the Philadelphia Bike Expo solely on their bike. With a custom-made trailer carrying their Sailrite sewing machine, Cincotta wants to source materials on the way, and make a run of custom bags made from waste collected at the Expo.
“It involves me getting creative in sourcing my materials, and ultimately creating a symbiotic relationship with the venue and artisans to transform waste into something useful,” they said. “There are a lot of unknown variables in this project, but I’m excited to be showing everyone what a sewing machine and creativity can do!”