In this interview series, Shop Talk, we chat with Rich Brilliant Willing’s friends and collaborators on the ideas, discoveries, and inspirations that drive their design process.
Like RBW, the Buenos Aires-born, San Francisco-based upcycling company MAFIA is committed to socially and environmentally positive practices. Since 2012, co-founders and siblings Marcos and Paz Mafia have been designing and manufacturing versatile totes, backpacks and other sports-grade accessories from reclaimed sail cloths—resilient textiles that have finished their time at sea and would otherwise go to waste. In 2020, they crossed over into lighting design when RBW tapped their expertise; collaboratively, we co-produced AllSew, a robust homage to the paper lantern fortified with robust, upcycled sails.
Here in our latest Shop Talk interview, we talk to MAFIA co-founder Marcos Mafia and Director of Sustainable Operations Mika Endo about the highlights of their artist and designer collaborations, the challenges of operating sustainably, and how much their brand has been shaped by their surroundings.