I don’t know if I reached out to Victor or he reached out to me, but the fact that there are inevitably some quality denim scraps at Raleigh Denim encouraged a collaboration forward. 

Raleigh Denim has been one of my favorite brands, let alone favorite local, sustainably made brands, for a few years now. Victor was one of the first people I talked to when I was thinking about starting Reborn. I knew the story of him and Sarah starting Raleigh Denim out of college, and I knew that he was the person to talk to when it came to textile design. 

The thing I really love about Victor is that he won’t bullshit. He refuses to accept anything less than incredible, and that yields incredible jeans. The piece of advice that sticks out to me from Victor all those years ago was that you weren’t finished creating until you made something that evoked emotion. Day after day he worked on their denim designs (and still does) until it literally brought tears because they were that well made  – after working with fabrics and textiles for a few years, I now understand what he means.  

As we worked through our collection of upcycled duffel bags from their scraps, this fierce commitment to quality and dedication to our craft presented itself in every notion and trim. From the swivel clips, webbing, the sewn-on leather patch, and definitely the zipper, we refused to accept anything less than sublime, and the finished result is truly the sum of its parts. 

For upcycling to work – this concept of creating something out of ‘nothing’ you have to pay attention to the details. It’s not enough to save scraps from a landfill. We could do that by simply recycling. We have to create something so enticing, so delicious, that you can’t believe we would ever throw away or shred another scrap again. There’s too much potential from waste.

The Raleigh Denim upcycled weekender is the latest example of this notion and a true outcome of my learnings by watching Victor and his team for years excel at our craft. 

Created from weird, cut, yardage of excess denim, and manufactured in the US by our partners in New Jersey, these duffels are not only incredibly unique, but incredibly functional. I hope you’ll stop by one of my favorite downtown spots and snag one for your next weekend trip. Enjoy the zipper – we needed it to feel ‘like butter’ as Victor put it.