November 03 2016

Upcycling Billboards. Yes, Billboards.

Four years ago, two brothers, Aric and Alec Avedissian, said goodbye to their corporate careers to create Rareform, a company that upcycles billboards to have another life. The concept came together while Aric and Alec were backpacking through South America and saw old billboard vinyl being used as roofing. Blown away by the material’s versatility and durability (not to mention uniqueness and style), they jumped head first into the crazy idea of taking billboards and repurposing them into one-of-a-kind products.

Billboards are all around us. While most people think they are made of paper, billboards are actually made of a heavy-duty vinyl material that is durable and waterproof. Like most people, the brothers didn't really think about billboards or what happened after to them after.  It was a friend in El Salvador that introduced the brothers to upcyling. He showed them a tote bag that he had made. It was that ingenuity which sparked the inspiration for the business.

Most billboards are 14''H x 48''W, and one billboard can be the source of creating over 100 backpacks and 1,000 wallets or 10 surfbagss. Rareform sources old billboards from outdoor advertising companies such as Lamar Advertising and ClearChannel Outdoor. Once the billboards come down, Rareform picks up the vinyls to start the process in their Los Angeles, CA facility. Billboards with bright colors and typography make the best products. And they have strict cutting requirements where no logos, food, faces, etc. are used. 

Once at the facility, patterns for wallets, backpacks and surfbags are cut to a patten size. The cut pieces are then handed to their sewers who meticulously craft the vinyls into unique bags.

Want to find your one-of-a-kind item that can't be found anywhere else? Go to www.rareform.com or your local surf shop, Whole Foods, Patagonia, BestBuy and outdoor stores. 

Great work Aric and Alec in taking a throwaway item and transforming it into another life. It's a win-win for our environment. 

And you have an opportunity to win a $500 gift card to Rareform, all you have to do is enter here!