We’re always looking for ways to use materials that already exist, so when we had some excess vinyl in hand after the Freshwater Pro at Surf Ranch (an event we sponsored last year), partnering with our friends at RAREFORM was a no-brainer.
A few years back, they helped us transform our first-ever billboard in San Francisco into some rad duffles that flew off the shelves. If you got one, you know their products are built to last. This time around, we’re collaborating on 2 limited-edition styles: the Banner Blake Tote and the Banner Weekender Duffle. So, if you missed the last batch, now’s your chance to get a piece of surfing history.
We called up Alec and Aric, RAREFORM co-founders (and brothers) to get the lowdown on where it all began. Here’s the abbreviated story… Alec was living in El Salvador, working with a non-profit in a low-income community. Friends in the area were using old billboards as roofing — clearly, this trash had potential beyond its initial use. Being a surfer, he instinctively made a surfboard bag to start (they promise the current iteration is way better), and from there, an idea was born. They’ve since grown a business that’s founded on their core values in sustainability and doing good.
“Caring about the planet was already ingrained in us at a young age. The mountains, the ocean, the rivers, everything we grew up with. Our primary thought was ‘How can we protect these places?’” – Alec Avedissian, RAREFORM Co-Founder & CEO
Now partnered with the three largest billboard companies in the U.S., RAREFORM receives upwards of 30 truck shipments of old billboards at their California warehouse per month! That amounts to nearly 5 MILLION pounds of plastic that’s kept out of landfill annually.
"Traditionally, large scale events come with a lot of waste. While we’re exploring more sustainable alternatives to vinyl banners, our partnership with RAREFORM is a great solution in the meantime. We’re stoked to keep this material in circulation and out of the landfill." – Mark Walker, Outerknown CEO