Mafia first started as a pursuit to find the perfect bag to carry our wetsuits around the world – going from plane to beach and back again – all while saving used sails from the landfill. It started as a community based brand where friends both donated sails and used our packs. We learned as we went but had the feeling that we were on to something big.
We now operate in four countries, have a growing team of employees, and have expanded our product line to not only include the perfect globe-trotting wetsuit bag, but also a refined collection on of versatile packs and totes to accommodate both beach and city lifestyles. We regularly work with industry leaders such as Patagonia Provisions, Adam Savage, Vans, Reef, SFMOMA, the Stanford Design School, and many others to bring you innovative products from reclaimed materials.
Our belief in a low-impact lifestyle guide every decision we make – from reusing cardboard shipping boxes to guaranteeing every product we make with a lifetime warranty. Sustainability has always been second nature to Mafia through our use of reclaimed sails, and has connected us to the wider like-minded community.
We are also dedicated to the community in which we live, employing local people to cut and sew each bag here in California.
Materials & Ingredients
Up-cycled sailcloth, kitesurfing kites, windsurfing sails, and many other up-cycled materials. We love to experiment with different sustainably sourced materials, so we have collaborated with many companies to experiment with post-consumer and post-manufacturing waste as well.
Packaging & Delivery
We keep plastic out of our packaging, opting for sustainable options wherever possible. We use recycled paper and cardboard packaging when possible, as well as water-activated paper tape in lieu of regular plastic packing tape.
Quality & Value
Our goal is to keep materials in use, and out of landfill, for as long as possible. This means that everything we make is designed to last a lifetime (if not longer!). We rigorously test all of our sail material for durability and quality and are constantly iterating on designs in order to ensure our products are built to last. On top of this, all of our products are backed by our life me warranty.
Each of our sails is processed by-hand, one at a time, to ensure the material is utilized in the most efficient way possible. Our studio is full of many boxes containing different sized pieces of material, some of which we keep without having a final use in mind. When we are developing new products, we love to go through everything we’ve held onto, finding new uses for what might have otherwise been thrown away.
Local Supply Chains
We are lucky to be part of a wonderful community of makers in the San Francisco, Bay Area. As members of both SF Made and Bay Area Made, an important part of what we do relies heavily on the manufacturing and artisan expertise available in our own backyard. We are proud to be able to collaborate with local manufacturers, designers, and artisans, as well as very grateful to
have such a strong community to support our mission.
We work closely with all of our manufacturers to help co-create efficient ways of manufacturing with up-cycled material. Volume manufacturing is not made with up-cycled materials in mind, so it takes a great deal of collaborative work to make the process more efficient. We do not currently have the capacity to measure CO2 emissions from the factories we work with in California, but we do pay regular visits to each of our manufacturers in order to ensure their practices align with our environmental values.
Circular Business Models
We invest in circular business models by collaborating with companies to develop recycled materials from post-consumer and post-manufacturing waste. It is our ongoing mission to help move the fashion industry forward toward a more sustainable future.
Goals & Aspirations
There is always more work to be done when it comes to creating more sustainable practices. We still rely on newly made hardware, such as zippers and buckles, for our bags. However, we aspire to eventually either develop or transition to 100% recycled, or otherwise sustainably-sourced hardware, without sacrificing functionality or durability.
Certifications & Memberships
We were a member of B-Corp for five years, and although our company is still very much aligned with B-Corp values, we decided to discontinue our membership because we felt as though B-Corp had become more focused on larger companies. This is, of course, incredibly important work since larger companies have an opportunity to make a big impact. We think the
work of B-Corp is important, but we feel it no longer represents small companies like ours. Our approach to doing things in a more sustainable way and supporting an ethical and transparent supply chain is still very much a part of what we do. This way of working is what our company was born out of, it is embedded in our DNA and nothing will change there.