FFTOBbyNikiRasor's Shop Announcement

Being a firewife I take this very personally. What happens to these garments after retirement matters to me. I believe these turnouts deserve way better than being tossed into the trash!!! I also believe our planet deserves better. I believe WE can do better. It just takes a little creativity....and a few crazy people who are willing to do the work! I started doing this In 2008. Since then I have seen a bunch of creative people use their skills to recycle firefighter gear. The products that have come out of it are absolutely amazing. Every old turnout that gets used for some other purpose is helping reduce our footprint on the planet! I'm so happy and proud to be a part of this movement and I can see a very bright future for it!!

My name is Niki Rasor and I invented making bags out of old retired firefighters turnouts in 2008 and this is my new Etsy shop (I used to be Rasorsharp). I am happy to make these bags! But let me tell you....they are WORK!!! Just the process alone of me digging through the 5 foot tall huge pile of turnouts takes me about 2-3 hours. I dig and dig and pick out the jackets and pants that I know will work for a bag. However I must inspect each one not only for stains I know I cannot get out but for the date!
If the turnout is less than 10 years old... its off limits to me because it’s still considered "good". 10 years and older it’s out of service! The firefighter must turn in the turnouts and get a new set.
In the 2-3 hours of work I’ll pay for them and then it’s off to the washers! I’ll spend about 3-4 hours there. I take all the thick lining out of the turnouts and spray all the garments with a heavy duty cleaner. Then I pump about 16 quarters in, add a little oxy clean and wash. Wait. Take turnouts and liners out of washer, load them into trunk and take them to my house.
I then drape the wet turnouts and their lining over my fence and let air dry!
Just the "unloading and draping over fence" part takes me about 1-2 hours.
When I’m done, I’m wet and winded! These turnouts are heavy enough when they are dry!
I cannot believe the physical strength our firefighters have, to be able to walk up several flights of stairs wearing at least 30 pounds (if not more) of clothing and 75+ pounds of equipment ! These men and women are amazing people!
I then cut the garment and spray it again. I have a brush that’s stiff as nails and I scrub. It takes me about 45 min to do 2 pockets and 1 pair of suspenders. Then it’s back out to the fence to air dry.
When dry, I then sew. I make the body of the bag, the lining, and attach the suspenders.
That takes about 2 hours.
Then I put about 1 1/2 hours of "hand sewing" into the bag.
I put so much love and hard work into each bag.
I just want you to know the process. I want you to know that each bag has soul and is so unique.

I am a 37 year old business owner and house wife. My husband is a Firefighter. We are hardworking single income Americans doing our best to make a fantastic life. We have 4 children under the age of 6. Every free moment I have is golden! I make these bags when my children do not rely on me for their needs, that’s before they wake and when they are asleep. During those times I’m sewing your bag....or washing it.Thanks for reading!