San Francisco based Mafia started with a basic idea: make something new from a really durable, versatile, colorful material that cannot be recycled using conventional methods. Brother and sister team Marcos and Paz Mafia started making bags in Buenos Aires back in 2012 as a way to use up old sails and create bags to carry their wetsuits when they traveled. What started as a community based brand where friends both donated sails and used their packs, is now a B-Corp operating in four countries.
Mafia bags and accessories are unique items, all crafted by hand in California from repurposed kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailboat sails. Each sail has its own history and distinctive look, which the team uses as a starting point for creating colorful new products. Parts for each bag are cut by hand from individual sails, one sail at a time, and the possible combinations of patterns and colors are infinite.
Over the years, Mafia has built relationships with sailors and athletes from around the world to be able to gather all the material they need to create the unique pieces. Repurposed sails represent 80% of the raw materials used, while pieces such as webbing, backpack fabric, and buckles are new. These new raw materials are sourced from local suppliers in the US.
Mafia makes 16 styles of backpacks, totes, duffels, messenger bags, and accessories. The unique pieces retail for anywhere from $35 for a Skinny Wallet to $198 for a Tubo Duffle. You can purchase the bags online or from one of the company’s four retail locations in San Francisco, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, or Geneva — London is coming soon.
Mafia is always on the lookout for disused sails about to be discarded, and will make a custom bag free of charge, in return for your donation of a kitesurfing, boat, or windsurf sail — basically any type of sail.