Rareform repurposed bags; from billboard to backpacks and beyond.
Every year most of us drive past hundreds if not thousands of billboards on our daily journeys to and fro. And while they very much fall into the category of “out of sight, out of mind,” the reality is that billboards have a very real and very negative impact on the environment. Enter RAREFORM repurposed bags. This innovative company is using salvaged billboards to create eco-friendly and effortlessly hip bags. Read on to learn more about the company and its products, including the timeless Weekender Duffle — a favorite among CIEL staffers.
“it was just a matter of time before truckloads of old billboards started arriving at their doorstep.”
WHEN INSPIRATION MEETS INNOVATION
RAREFORM was the brainchild of Alec Avedissian, who was living in El Salvador when he noticed the locals repurposing billboards — which are not traditionally recyclable — as roofing. He enlisted his brother, Aric, in the effort, and it was just a matter of time before truckloads of old billboards started arriving at their doorstep. The earliest RAREFORM products were surfboard bags — a natural fit for surfing enthusiast Alec. Since then, the company’s offerings have grown to encompass everything from duffle bags to luggage tags.
BUT WHY BILLBOARDS?
Since its founding, RAREFORM has rescued a staggering 2.83 million pounds of billboards — and counting. The same qualities that make billboards hearty enough to withstand the elements make them a nightmare from an environmental perspective. After all, if billboards aren’t going to break down when subject to everything from burning sun to rock-hard hail, they’re not going to break down in a landfill either. These same qualities also make billboard vinyl an ideal material for creating sustainable accessories: It’s durable, waterproof, unique, vegan and lightweight.
A GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING
In an attempt to avoid wasteful wrapping paper during the holiday season last year, we landed on RAREFORM’s Weekender Duffle as substitute packaging. While it was perfect for gift giving, the Weekender Duffle has also become a go-to bag among the CIEL staff thanks to its ample size, classic style and versatile functionality. We love that every single bag is not only unique, but has also been meticulously cut to showcase the distinct and diverse typography, colors and abstract designs found on billboards. And who doesn’t love a product that’s as cool as it is mindful?
Interested in repurposed and upcycled products? Check out our recently updated review on sustainable sock maker Arvin Goods!