Two brothers, Alec and Aric Avedissian, started the Agoura Hills based company, Rareform in 2012. Alec was living in El Salvador at the time when the idea of Rareform came to mind. He noticed that the locals of the town he was living in, were using old discarded billboard advertisements as roofs for their houses because of the extreme water resistant, durable, light weight and elemental resilient material the vinyl advertisements were being made from.
The Avedissian brother’s concept was to adopt the practice of using vinyl advertisements and adapt them to products manufactured for surfing. Something sparked in El Salvador. The concept of sustainability became clear in their minds. An old advertisement laying in a landfill would have no value to society, so why not repurpose? Their idea was to take the eye-drawing billboards you stare at while stuck in traffic, and transform the highly durable vinyl material into a surfboard bag people will gaze at as you strut through the parking lot, across the beach or down the cliffs.
Upcycling and repurposing old discarded material into a greater product is the new trend in manufacturing surfing goods. What started as taking old boards and reincarnating them into new ones, evolved into acquiring retired billboard signs and creating board bags, backpacks, wallets, phone cases, tote bags and duffel bags from material that would otherwise lay in a landfill for countless years.
Rareform has set up a deal with Southern California billboard advertising companies such as Lamar Advertising and Clear Channels Outdoor to help reduce approximately 20,000 pounds of retired billboard signs sent to local landfills and relocate them to the Rareform Warehouse. All the work done for Rareform is done in house and is guaranteed 100% American made.
They receive the billboard signs one to two times a month in shipping containers where they sort and spread the signs out so they can be properly washed. Next, employees lay out the 14×40 foot billboards and set out to cut the bags, which adhere to strict guidelines that feature the most unique and abstract parts to produce a bag.
One billboard yields around 10 board bags or 1,000 wallets. Once the design is chosen, the sewing begins. To ensure that the already durable vinyl material stays together, Rareform uses high quality sewing material which guarantees the bag will endure even the harshest adventures.
Prices for the board bags are relatively cheap considering the high quality material used to make them. Acquiring one of their products is as easy as visiting their website at: www.rareform.
Shortboard/ Retro Fish board bags: around $85
Longboard board bags: around $125
Standup board bags: $130
Change mats: $40
Phone cases: $28
Tote bags: $44-$78