Colorful, unique Mafia Bags are sewn from old sails

Mafia bags backpack

Handmade in San Francisco, these bags give new life to durable material otherwise destined for the trash.

Sails are a perfect material for upcycling. They’re tough, strong, lightweight, colorful, and resistant to the elements. When a brother and sister team from Buenos Aires, named Marcos and Paz Mafia, realized that significant numbers of sails were stashed away in storage lockers upon reaching end of life, or, even worse, tossed in the landfill, they came up with a clever solution to use the material.

Marcos, a former professional kitesurfer, and Paz, an engineer, launched a company called Mafia Bags in 2012. This innovative line of tote bags, backpacks, duffel bags, messenger bags, and other accessories is made entirely from old sails. The bags have proven to be so popular that the Mafia siblings moved their operation to San Francisco, California, where they have an office with in-house production (which is now a Certified B Corporation) and a storefront, as well as an online store.

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