Bags From Reclaimed Billboards
Creating value from waste. This circular economy company diverts 50,000 lbs of trash from landfill each month.
Rareform is giving new life to used billboards by upcycling the vinyl poster material to make one of a kind, high quality bags and accessories. The designs resulting from using these massive billboards (once 12 feet tall and 24 feet wide) are bold and instantly recognizable when applied to everyday products. Because each product is made from a different part of a unique upcycled billboard, there are endless styling possibilities to match anyone's personal preference.
Their surfboard bags are what put them on the map when they launched the brand. Each board bag features a shoulder strap, 1/4 inch foam to keep your board safe and heat-reflective material to keep the board cool. They have since extended their product offering to a range of bags and accessories, all using their reclaimed material.
Rareform’s regenerative design approach is a great example of how to create value from waste. Typically, utilizing reclaimed materials in a manufacturing setting can be difficult due to inconsistent dimensions and material compensation. This is why utilizing old billboards is such an elegant solution. They tend to be lage rectangles made exclusively of vinyl, which is a highly durable material.
With a manufacturing facility in the Los Angeles area, Rareform has immediate access to this vast supply of reclaimed material. According to Forbes Magazine, thousands of billboards go up each week in the Los Angeles area and remain on display for approximately four to eight weeks. This inherently sort lifespan results in a serious amount of trash. The durable properties that make vinyl so appealing both for use as a bag and as a billboard, are what make them environmentally destructive because it tend to not decompose easily. These days, Rareform repurposes 50,000 pounds of vinyl each month which amounts to over half a million pounds of waste diverted annually. The combined effect of the supply, manufacturing, and consumer market in such close proximity yields significantly reduced emissions compared to manufacturing overseas.
Additionally, their confidence in the quality of their craftsmanship goes so far as offering a lifetime warranty on all of their products. They will either repair or replace the item for any material or manufacturing defect.
As the company progresses, I would be curious to see how they can close the loop on the product after the customer is done using it. Patagonia has seen great success by partnering with Yerdle to create their resale program, Worn Wear. Now similar platforms like threadUP is providing a similar platform for other brands to utilize. This would ensure that a bag that is still functional can be passed on to another customer. But what if the bag is totally worn out? TerraCycle is tackling this problem by partnering with brands to recycle their products through collection centers or by sending in the old product in a prepaid package to their facilities. Their goal is to ensure that all packaging and products are upcycled whenever possible.
Thanks Rareform for making beautiful products from reclaimed materials!