TORRAIN was born from a passion for sustainable design, authenticity and community empowerment.
Our products are designed with with travel and adventure in mind. We believe exploration inspires respect for our globe and its inhabitants, which fosters a desire to preserve it.
How It All Began
Hey I’m Nyla, the owner and designer of TORRAIN. I’m a Syrian, Detroit native gone west. After working in social and environmental justice, I decided to take my lifelong hobby making clothes more seriously. I moved to California and became an apparel designer for the surf, skate, snow industry. Although the work was creatively rewarding, I couldn’t reconcile my deep dilemma; that the fashion industry didn’t create positive change but rather was laden with wasteful consumerism and empty values.
In 2009, I embarked on a journey to Southeast Asia. While traveling through Cambodia, I noticed the colorful agricultural bags that littered the streets. My wheels started turning. A few days later at a night market in Siem Reap, I met Sothea. We discussed a potential partnership that would employ and empower impoverished artisan communities throughout Cambodia. After visiting the artisans, learning their backstory and spending time on design and development, I moved to Portland and launched TORRAIN; a union of design, sustainability and community empowerment.
Ethical Process, Sustainable Materials
Did you know that feed bags were so versatile? I didn’t! …until I noticed the ones in Southeast Asia. They were all over the place and I realized they’re not only colorful and fun but also durable, lightweight and water-resistant! They are the perfect material to upcycle into products for travel and outdoor adventure and in turn, keep them out of landﬁlls.
A Global Eﬀort
Since the onset of TORRAIN, we started noticing these bags everywhere, locally and abroad, being used for feed, cement, rice, malt, wheat, grass seed, ﬂour and more. We now source materials from South Africa, Morocco and the US as well as from Southeast Asia. And that’s just the outside of our bags. In addition to the exteriors, all of our bag liners are made from recycled plastic bottles and printed with our signature patterns. After we gather the materials and develop our designs, we work with artisan communities in Cambodia to wash, cut and sew them. We take trips to Cambodia every couple years for quality and design development as well as to nurture our relationships with the artisans. We also work with local Portland artisans on small-batch projects.
So Many Ways to Defend Your Turf
While our products already do so much, we aren’t happy unless we’re pushing for more. We look forward to expanding our product line, to sourcing more materials to keep out of landﬁlls, and to always looking for new ways to make our products as sustainable as possible.
TORRAIN is dedicated to protecting and enriching our environment and our people. Through the nature of our products, our 1:1 initiative and our ongoing partnerships and events, our goal is to inspire working towards a better planet; to support sustainability, to empower our communities and of course, to adventure and explore.
Let's do this!
The name is a combination of the word Terrain and the phrase, To Rain. When rain falls, the earth is fruitful. Just as in life, progress usually happens in light of a fall. TORRAIN symbolizes this rise and fall by recycling old hazardous materials into new, vibrant products.