Fashion is a funny thing: Trendsetters are revered, but if too many people follow their lead, their style becomes decidedly untrendy. Avoid catching the wave too late by opting for something truly unique--say, a dumpster-chic purse. Messenger bags made of old vinyl billboards (vyandelle.com), handbags woven out of candy wrappers (ecoist.com) or formed from old books (rebound-designs.com), plastic-bag purses (ecochicinc.com), and duct-tape totes (mimimarie-sf.com) are just a few of the handcrafted creations available. Want to get a jump on the next trend? Place an order now for a solar handbag (solarjo.com) that can recharge your cell phone.
(Top photograph and below, from left, second, third, and fourth photos by Lori Eanes; below, first photo, courtesy of Ecoist)