Fort Bradshaw Scrim Upcycling

Williams College Project Manager Julie Sniezek and Cardinale Montano, founder of tote bag company Lineflax and Roving, recently came together to upcycle the PVC mesh fence wrap used in the Fort Bradshaw construction project. 

“The Fort” is housing for first year students in the Graduate Program in the History of Art program and is pursuing two sustainable building certifications — LEED Gold and the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification for the following petals: Equity, Health & Happiness, Materials, and Beauty. The project already went to great lengths to prioritize sustainability by diverting 90% of waste materials from landfills. They donated everything from wood flooring and doors, to counter tops, windows, bricks, and even toilets! However, Julie decided to take her sustainability efforts a step further by reaching out to Cardinale Montano, a local artisan she had met at a holiday craft festival to upcycle the half-acre of scrim, a decorative material that wraps around construction site fences and is used for beautifying construction sites, that would have otherwise been thrown away.

Each of the bags are unique and made from the vinyl scrim designed by the Clark Art’s communications department. The lengthy process of preparing the scrim to make these bags included thoroughly cleaning, scrubbing, and polishing the scrim. Lineflax and Roving’s philosophy is based in sustainability and craftsmanship, and their goals align with the College’s mission to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

If you’d like to check out this wonderful line of bags, visit!

-Alisha Naidu ’24, Zilkha Center Communications Intern

For more information about Williams building projects visit the sustainable buildings page or the Planning Design & Construction website.  For more information about another LBC Petal Certified building on campus, visit the ’66 Environmental Center’s website.

The final tote bags made from the upcycled scrim! The scrim was also used to make single-compartment bags for cosmetics, small bags for a pen and a notebook, and clutches.

The process of preparing the scrim is shown above — it included laying the scrim down to dry after cleaning it and cutting the scrim into appropriately-sized pieces and hanging it out to dry.

Decorative scrim wrapped around fences at the construction site for The Fort and the cleaned, cut, and polished pieces of scrim.