Rubber Killer upcycle tire tubes into trendy bags
Rubber Killer is an environmentally friendly manufacturer of durable products. Ruber Killer upcycle tire tubes from all types of vehicles into fashionable new messenger bags and accessories.
Boony Laohajaroenyot, Rubber Killer’s designer, spoke to Aim to discuss how the brand uses waste products, coupled with quality materials, to create a distinct look and mission.
“Your trash my treasure” is such a great statement. Please tell me about how Rubber Killer came to light?
Boony: Rubber Killer was founded by Saroengrong Wong-Savun, an independent architect in 2010, whose objective was to develop a range of products with an emphasis on being eco friendly and sustainable, under the idea “this world is united”.
How are Rubber Killer’s products eco friendly and sustainable?
Boony: Rubber Killer upcycle tire tubes. Used rubber tire tubes are often sent to landfills where they can take hundreds of years to break down. The name “Rubber Killer” comes from the notion of reclaiming the discarded rubber, effectively killing it from trash heaps and re-imagining it into a new use.
We use the inner tube from trucks as they are the biggest and easiest to obtain. However, sometimes our products require a thin or more flexible rubber, so for this we use the inner tubes from motorcycles and bicycles. The rubber is collected from local tire shops and truck service garages throughout Thailand.
Some of the rubber that we upcycle are factory rejects that did not pass their quality control. We only use rejects, saving the waste from landfill. We never use fresh new rubber.
“+30,000 used inner tubes have been recycled since 2010”
What’s been your most favourite item to design?
Boony: The Owen backpack, which you selected, as it incorporates everything we’ve learnt over the past ten years from working with rubber and other materials. It is the right balance between functionality and looks due to new production techniques.
How does the rubber get its patterns?
We give the rubber their patterns by pressing it into the inside of the old tires. The patterns are imprinted on the inner tire tubes from daily usage. Whereas, new tire tubes are smooth, therefore do not have a visible pattern.
Where are you based and how does Rubber Killer also give back to the community?
Boony: Rubber Killer’s Flagship Store is located in Chiang Mai Rubber Killer has been training and giving opportunities to workers who are in the surrounding hill tribe area of Northern Thailand. These locals usually are provided training and a fair wage, above the standard rate. Part of the Rubber Killer’s profit is also set aside for student scholarships from lower income families in Thailand.
Are you working on anything new for 2020?
Boony: As 2020 marks our ten year anniversary, we have a few collaborations in the works, as well as a new line of camera bags.
Do you have any further questions for the Rubber Killer team? What do you think of their products? Give your input in the comments below!