Turning someone’s trash into another person’s treasure has become a hot trend in recent years. From literal trash to military uniforms, there’s something special about creating custom pieces from materials that have lived out their original lives in another form. Niki Rasor is one of those people, a pioneer in the industry of creating one-of-a-kind bags from upcycled firefighter gear. Firefighter Turnout Bags was the first of its kind to craft bags of all kinds from firefighter gear, and continues to be the leader of the industry.
Rasor began her journey in 2008, when she sewed together her first piece using offcuts from her firefighter husband’s turnout coat. Since then, she has created a line of unique products that include pouches and makeup bags, all crafted from real firefighter turnouts. Custom bags including duffels, backpacks and crossbody bags are part of the collection as well. Firefighters can even request bags to be made from their own gear.
The gear goes through a rigorous cleaning and sanitation process prior to be fashioned into a bag. During its lifetime on the back of a real working firefighter, this fabric was exposed to many different chemicals, soot and other generally nasty stuff. In order to help protect consumers and their families, the gear is hand-washed and then run through mechanical washes and sanitation machines multiple times to get it as clean as possible.
Once gear is thoroughly cleaned, it is crafted by one of 10 employees within Firefighter Turnout Bags into a bag—some are already created and sold as-is, while others are customized to fit buyer’s preference. Customizing a bag allows the look to be changed however you like, including the use of different colors, patches, text and other details. Once it’s ready, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind bag that supports the firefighter community, and an ultra-durable product that’s ideal for carrying whatever daily supplies you need.
Firefighter Turnout Bags offers creations that are ideal for the everyday wear and tear of living. Use yours as a rough-and-tumble diaper bag, gym bag, airplane carry-on or anything else. You’ll find bags that are perfect for work and school, and bags that are good for travel. You can rest assured your bag will never be confused for someone else’s when it’s crafted from reflective turnout gear with your specific customizations. Firefighter Turnout Bags are great for everyday use, and can withstand the elements—even after a long life of protecting firemen in the local community.
Niki Rasor started Firefighter Turnout Bags with a mission to support firefighters and use her love for bringing new life to old products. Her company supports non-profits including Widows, Orphans and Disable Firemen’s Fund and StationKid. The products have been featured on NBC, Fox News and the San Diego Union Tribune. What started as a garage dream has turned into a full-fledge business, with plenty of supporters to back it up.
Update: Firefighter Turnout Bags is no longer in business.