We think independent entrepreneurs, freelancers and other risk takers make our cities exciting to live in. We cherish the rebel spirit, we don’t think just a handful of large corporations should control all of our commerce and we think smores with vegan marshmallows are better than normal marshmallows. We respect people and organizations that take the path less traveled. We root for the underdogs and we almost never say no to pizza.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Siedlecki and Jennifer Silbert.
Lisa and Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We founded Rewilder in 2014 after strong careers in fashion (Lisa) and architecture (Jenny). We witnessed industries obsessed with selling new, new, new and more, more, more and were distressed by how much waste was produced in the process. We started Rewilder to reinvent fashion with zero waste originals. Rewilder creates the best bags on and for the planet from 100% salvaged materials. Everything is designed, washed, cut and sewn in California for bags with a micro-footprint and highest quality. We don’t make trash; we treasure it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Making and manufacturing eco-friendly bags in Los Angeles at a price point that’s competitive is a huge challenge. All of our materials are salvaged (saved from the landfill), which adds an element of surprise to our production, and also means that every bag is unique. We start by cleaning and examining our materials to get the most out of them, a time-consuming process. Balancing this takes skill and finesse, and we have worked very hard to get where we are – competitive pricing on a highly crafted product that’s made in the USA.
Another challenge is in design. We are in a new fashion category of high-performance eco-chic. Getting the word out about this new standard involves a balance of introduction and education. We want the future of fashion to be all repurposed materials.
Rewilder – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are known for taking industrial materials (that most people don’t even know exist!) and transforming them into amazing bags. We specialize in sourcing unique materials thrown away at a massive scale and giving them a new life in design. Our current project is an Airbag Backpack is made from 100% salvaged airbags and seatbelts. Each year, the auto industry rejects and never uses over 100,000 tons (the weight of 250 airplanes!) of material that cannot be recycled. Rather than letting it go to the landfill, we upcycle this amazing material into the best eco backpack on the market.
Another aspect of our business is working with large companies to transform their waste stream into unique products, elevating these materials to a high design standard. We are currently making 3000 totes for the Hollywood Bowl summer season from salvaged street pole banners. This material is strong, durable, with unique graphics, and cannot be recycled. The totes that we make will save 700 banners from the landfill while stopping the need for any new production.
We are local LA and pride ourselves on making everything under one roof. This keeps our footprint tiny and also ensures a high level of craft.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We mark our success by the materials that we save from the landfill.
We are setting new standards for design and production, so we also measure the people we introduce to the concept of zero waste design. More people interested in salvage materials means a larger market where truly eco is the norm.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @rewildergoods
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rewilder-525320880901086
- Twitter: @rewildergoods