Mafia Bags - Sailing the World on your Back

Forget recycling, upcycling is the new thing in town. Upcycling takes used materials and creates a product of equal or superior quality. That is exactly the case with MAFIA Bags.

Marcus, MAFIA's co-founder, comes from a Kite Surfing background. The sails he used were expensive and of extremely high quality. Once discarded (as they often are) the strength of the sails is nowhere near finish. They're sturdy, resistant and waterproof. This is the opportunity that the Argentinian sister-brother duo (Marcus and Paz) seized when they decide to design bags out of this leftover material.

MAFIA is now distributed in four countries, has three flagship stores (in Buenas Aires, San Francisco, and Tokyo), produces 16 different models and is part of the ever-expanding B-Corp Certified family.

Oh, and did I mention that each bag is unique and comes with a lifetime warranty? There pretty darn swell.

As I like to do, I reached to the duo to see if they wanted to answer a few questions. They did.

mafia bags surf wetsuit

Turns out MAFIA bags are excellent to use with wetsuits

Marcus! How do you enjoy your coffee in the morning?

Coffee is the transition to the real world. It's even better if I can have coffee in bed while looking at Ocean Beach out my window.

Who inspires you?

As many other people would say: Patagonia. Also our friends from Freitag, who have been upcycling truck tarps for 23 years. Our friend & artist Tom Sachs is a big inspiration for us too.

If you could only choose one, which Mafia Bag product would you own and why?

A white spinnaker W-Pack, because it’s a good mid-size backpack to use in my everyday life. I usually use that same bag for my wetsuit, to come to the office and to shop for groceries. Like my favorite jeans, I wear my backpack every day of my life.

W-Bag from Mafia Bags

The W-Pack

What city was MAFIA created in?

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marcus, where is your favorite place to kite surf?

Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Mafia bag at the beach

A sail and a bag made out of sails... and the beach.

Why do used sails make such strong bags?

They are made to resist super strong winds and heavy climate weather. So if they can push a boat, they can stand up to just about anything.

You guys work with NGO’s to help manufacture your bags in South America. How does that work and how does it differ in the US?

We work with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) to connect refugees who manufacture our products locally.  

Mafia Bags has collaborations with Patagonia, Vans, Sperry and more. What is your favorite collaboration project and why?

My favorite collaboration is always the next one. Right now we are working on two new products with Patagonia and a project with Yves Behar. We learn a lot from every collaboration and that is reflected in our line of products.

What is one thing you have not yet managed to accomplish through Mafia Bags?

Getting into the food business. Changing the way we see food is an interesting challenge for the world.

mafia bag in snow

Perfect to use up north as well

Do you still have the first Mafia Bag prototype?

Yes! Actually is still being used by a friend in Uruguay.

What has been the proudest moment since you’ve launched Mafia Bags and why?

There is not a specific moment. It’s the fact that we built a company that makes us happy and we enjoy working at.

Thank you so much for doing this. Where can people learn more about you?

Like this post? Like coffee? Don't forget to check our travel mugs to keep your drink hot or cold. 10% of our sales are donated to our non-for-profit partner Cup for Education. Shop Now

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