Angela Riccobono on her eco-friendly business
Wear your environmentalism on your sleeve with Cherry Bombin' Wear.
Photo: Uriel Padilla
Angela Riccobono is the queer anarcha-feminist behind the sustainable small business Cherry Bombin’ Wear. Dedicated to the environment, Riccobono has created an entire fashion line out of recycled bike tubing. It’s a practice that keeps rubber out of landfills, reduces cruelty to animals and helps lighten our carbon footprint with practical, yet butch/femme-fashionable accessories for our green dyke community, from our green dyke community.
Already an avid bicyclist, Riccobono saw a PBS special featuring a bike-tubing crafty couple in 2002 which, she says, not only gave her ideas of what to do with “all of the bike tubes piled to the hilt in the garage,” but aligned perfectly with her green lifestyle which includes a vegan diet and car-free travel. Three years and some sewing lessons later, Riccobono fell in love at first sight with a bike tube wallet while living in San Francisco. “I loved how perfectly the rubber equaled animal-free and was a defining part of my bike culture lifestyle. This was more than perfect; it meant recycling, art, vegan, bicycle-whore...me in a nutshell!”
Cherry Bombin’ Wear began in 2007, in Arizona, when Riccobono hand-sewed her first bike-tube wallet. “I was hand sewing everything and was destined to get an industrial machine to start sewing messenger bags, which happened nine months after I started. Soon thereafter I partook in a local fashion show where I had designed a couple of skirts and shirts.” Now equipped with the right tools, and a never-shorting supply of bike rubber, Cherry Bombin’ Wear’s complete line includes dresses, custom bathing suits, seven wallet designs, messenger bags, purses, belts, wrist- and ankle-restraints and cuffs. “My restraints are my absolute favorite,” she admits, “but I do rock many of my designs on the regular like my forearm cuff, belt and bag.”
So how do you bike a mile in Riccobono’s vegan shoes? Slap on her eco-erotic bedroom restraints and check out the DIY step-by-step site Instructables.com which shows you how to make your own recycled bike tubing harness to match. But Riccobono warns, “the process of making all this stuff out of bike tubes looks a dirty filthy mess. But I’ve always been known for liking it dirty,” she laughs. Recycling just got a little more interesting.
Riccobono continues to bring us green gear from Phoenix, where she is currently planning an industrial fashion show this year. Get your Cherry Bombin’ rubber before it hits the runway at cherrybombinwear.com.