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second-life gear

July 9, 2012

Matt Mahler grew up in southern Louisiana, fishing and exploring the wetlands with his father. Those early years outdoors gave Mahler an appreciation and respect for nature and inspired him to become an environmental engineer.

In North Carolina, where he works as an air quality engineer, Mahler visited an active landfill in 2009. Struck by the waste, the LSU grad was determined to do something about it.

He formed Tierra Ideas, a small manufacturer of eco-friendly bags in Raleigh.

The company mostly uses recycled leather and worn aircraft textiles donated by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

Last year, Tierra Ideas launched the Altitude Collection of travel bags, made from recycled aircraft curtains and seat-back covers.

The leather Jetstream men’s wallet ($34) and the zippered iPad sleeves ($29) are the company’s most popular items.

New gear includes the Altitude Purse ($99, above) and the leather Piedmont laptop bag ($129, below).


In the Atlanta area, some items also are available at the Re-inspiration Store, 519 N. Highland Ave.

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