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RAREFORM

Posted by Jessica Windell on

If you head to the beach with your RAREFORM tote, expect to draw some attention. These hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind bags are not made from cotton, polyester or anything you’re used to seeing from a factory in “who knows where” — RAREFORM bags are crafted from upcycled billboards.

But why? But how?

RAREFORM Founder Alec Avedissan was never comfortable in a suit. After working in investment banking and renewable energy, Alec decided it was time to walk away from a career in corporate America and clear his head on a six-month surf trip through South America with his closest friends. They traveled through six countries, ate local food, hiked volcanoes and of course, searched for the world’s longest left wave (it was in Chicama, Peru). This unforgettable trip is what convinced Alec that business could be done differently.

It didn’t take long for Alec to recognize the interconnectedness of poverty, environmental degradation and the outdoor industry. Thanks to a friend who pointed out that advertising billboards could be upcycled, Alec created a business that could reduce waste in the world and sustain the mountains, rivers, and oceans that all outdoor enthusiasts cherish.

Rareform bags

In 2012, Alec and his brother Aric founded RAREFORM. By partnering with billboard advertising companies, like Lamar, their team is able to intercept billboards before they hit the landfill. Once collected, the billboards, which are designed to be durable, mildew-proof, and waterproof, are sorted by the team’s cutting crew that finds the material boasting the best colors and least amount of wear and tear. Their goal is find pieces that will give your bag the most character.

The material is then cut and cleaned before being shaped and sewn into a finished tote bags, duffel bags and surf bags. One of the most noteworthy aspects is that no two items are alike, so you’ll never know what you’ll find in their store and won’t ever double-up on prints with your friends.

RAREFORM is committed to the principles that got this whole thing started: quality, sustainability, and style. We can appreciate these principles and the sustainable movement on which this team has set out.

Check our these videos highlighting the process:

1. RAW MATERIALS

2. CUTTING THE BILLBOARDS

3. BAG DESIGN