017: UpCycling, from Runway to Everyday, with Sara Wiener

Some of Sara’s greatest memories growing up were of sewing with her grandmother Bella. When she combined her love of sewing and making old things new again with the overabundance of plastic bags Sara Bella UpCycled was born; a company that up-cycles consumer plastic bags into beautiful, wearable art for the both the runway and the everyday.


Tweet This: “If I ran out of plastic bags it would be a good day to go out of business.” -Sara Wiener

Interesting facts and keys takeaways

  • For Sara’s first time in the wilderness was a 30-day ski trip in Alaska with the National Leadership School.
  • Sara had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and teach the skill of making waste plastic bags into fused plastic garments to a group of women living near a landfill. Those women have now been able to make a business and support their families with those skills.
  • Sara always does her manufacturing work in front of the public and feels that it’s important to bring awareness to both the waste we create and the process & art of up-cycling.
  • “If you have a passion to do something sustainable or green or artistic to just try it. Don’t be afraid to try making or doing something that’s new but that might lead to something super cool.”


  • Safe Passage – empowering the poorest at-risk children, whose families live in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump
  • Nomad Charities – a non-profit that seeks to improve the quality of lives of adults & children that are homeless, exploited and orphaned because of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Kenya
  • Scot Nakagawa – Scot is a Senior Partner at ChangeLab, a grassroots political lab that explores how U.S. demographic change is affecting racial justice politics, with a strategic focus on Asian American identity.

Free Download

In this episode, Sara talks about how simple it can be to start upcycling your plastic bags into awesome designs. Get started with this free download!



Get in touch with Sara