Our Contributions

Design Challenge

The Jeans were focused on because 10,000 litres of water is used to make one pair of jeans. Jeans are worn, on average, one day per week for approximately four years before ending up in landfills. We need to show the denim origin by allowing traceability and creating whole new upcycled denim specifications with patterns cut from the jeans fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle so that nothing was wasted. The design journey requires high standard quality control considering types of jeans, size, colours for each designed bag from randomly gathered materials, and it requires high aesthetic sense in manufacturing.

Design Solution

Two key solutions were to use as much as possible of one pair of jeans when designing the final bag using pattern-making and zero waste principles and to show the original jeans, along with labelling, helps consumers trace and better engage with the journey that jeans go through when being upcycled.
Many aspects of the final backpack design have considered that potential target markets and items they would need to transport. Clever pockets are incorporated, using aspects from the original jeans in the design where possible. The bag lining gives the option to protect and keep the laptop safe.
The strategies that can use what is already created will help to lower the environmental impact of textile production. Also, jeans are readily available in second-hand stores. They are frequently donated or thrown away as old stocks still in very useable condition, especially in New Zealand and Australia with abundant recycling culture.

Design Impact

The traceable denim bag was designed with the denim origin on a label that allows sustainable contribution and new bag owners could view an image of the original jeans used to make the bags, with the information of denim source for global and community participation and social impact.

Other Key Features

Cheong Ba-G’s inspiration came from caring about the environment and people.
Cheong means clean, blue, denim in Korean and Cheong Ba Ji means Jeans in Korean.
The traceable denim bags donated from the community have exhibited in ‘Smart Space’ and ‘The Dowse Art Museum’ to show the circulation of the denim materials and show denim traceability in New Zealand. It had a positive impact on sustainable living to the consumers and community with upcycled denim workshops since 2018.
Over time, The project was started from a collaboration with the Wintec IT department that digital tracking system with a traceable code on the label that allows new bag owners to log onto an App and view an image of original jeans that used to make the bags, with information about where they came from and any donor’s information to build a denim upcycle community of people sharing stories about bags which can see the positive effect they are having on the environment by buying an upcycled product. And now, customers can see the denim origin directly on the labels. IDA international design awards and DINZ Best Design Awards, and also NZ ECC Craft/Design Awards and IF Design recognized the innovative idea and designs.


With the growing awareness of the need for sustainable change within the fashion industry, this project aimed to find ways to upcycle and re-use second-hand jeans (Including old denim stocks) in order to make highly functional and beautiful trendy bags. It allows consumers and contributors to trace the used materials with denim origin through labelling with the map and show original jeans by encouraging consumers and the community to be more aware of how upcycling can lower a product’s environmental footprint. It makes differentiates from another sustainable brand in that the recycled products are 100% traceable when purchased.

Problem and Solution Focus

The idea of bags came about as it is a useful everyday item and could be seen as a way to enable the consumer of the denim backpack to contribute to a sustainable fashion system. Creating denim backpack designs needs to meet the zero waste goals with the pattern pieces cut from the jeans fitting together perfectly. Innovative traceable business model and solution enable consumers, communities, producers and contributors to experience denim traceability impacting denim circulation. It helps reassurance the journey of upcycled denim bag. It connects the gaps between raw denim materials and a sustainable system.

Design Aesthetic

Innovative, sustainable, trendy designs with intended market inspiration started from South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. Many aspects of the final backpack design have been considered, including potential target markets and items that would need to transport which allows the clever pockets are incorporated, using aspects from the original jeans in the design where possible. The design from the original jean requires high design aesthetics (position, colour, textile) to shape highly functional beautiful bags. The backpack lining gives options to protect and keep the laptop safe.

Sustainable Impact

The Jeans were focused on because 10,000 litres of water is used to make one pair of jeans in the worlds, 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced annually, and over 1.2 billion pairs of jeans are purchased, but less than 1% are upcycled. Jeans are ending up in landfills after four years using.. We try to fill these waste gaps. The name Cheong means clean, blue, denim and Cheong ba Ji means jeans in Korean as we manufacture the patented design bags in South Korea. Traceable denim label allows 100% traceability and linked to stock management when accepting and sorting original re-usable jeans with code. Reducing denim waste positively impact the sustainable fashion system with community workshops.

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