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The most unique wallet you'll ever own! Made in the USA from decommissioned firefighter bunker gear. Click to learn more.

Due to all the support and encouragement we've received, we will be relaunching our Kickstarter campaign in the coming months! 

Please visit blackhelmetapparel.com/kickstarter for more information!

We're reworking the project in hopes that the relaunch will be more successful and we will let you know as soon as it's available again.

When is the last time someone stopped you while you were paying for something to complement and ask about your wallet?

Of course a wallet is functional - but that doesn't mean it shouldn't also be one of the most unique and interesting products you'll ever own. We're creating wallets from decommissioned firefighter bunker gear -- the same gear that saves firefighter lives each and every day!

Because we're using decommissioned gear, each wallet is unique and shows part of the life that it endured. The "wear" you'll notice on your wallet is not from a fashion-industry process, but from real life use fighting fires and saving lives.

We're been producing them in small batches and here are some real-life reactions:

"I purchased one of these wallets several weeks ago and have been very satisfied and the compliments/questions I get are testament to the quality and character of the product." ~ Paul E

"Best wallet I've ever bought!!!" ~ Mike B

"Have one and luv it!" ~ Ron M

"I have had one of these wallets for over a year now . . . NO signs of wear! great wallet!" ~ Brian B

"My gf bought me one for my birthday. I love mine." ~ Matt C

"I bought one a few months ago from black helmet. Awesome product. And only wallet I plan on using for a long time." ~ James M

Last Minute Push Rewards!

So it would take one crazy last minute push - but we can still make it! We're adding three never before released, limited edition prints by James Love for just $15 each! If you can't support at the wallet level, please consider this reward level as a great way to support this project and you'll get a beautiful print of James' original artwork on 100lb matte paper, perfect for framing.

Solid Bore Limited Edition Print
Solid Bore Limited Edition Print
War Eagle Limited Edition Print
War Eagle Limited Edition Print
Italian Eagle Limited Edition Print
Italian Eagle Limited Edition Print

Our Story

By James Love, firefighter, artist & founder, Black Helmet

As a third-generation firefighter, firefighting is part of my heritage. And while we've been creating products for firefighters for the past few years, we wanted to create something that brought firefighting to a product that everyone could use.

Wallets seemed like a natural fit, but it was in a meeting with LION (a company that makes turnout gear for firefighters) that we learned they had 4,000 sets of decommissioned gear -- from one department! That's when we started asking questions... how many sets of decommissioned gear were out there? You see, once a set of gear is too old or damaged, it gets decommissioned. Sometimes decommissioned gear gets sold to other countries or donated to firefighter explorers, but many (possibly most) times, it just gets destroyed. Some fire departments actually pay to have the gear removed and destroyed.

This gear that has been saving the lives of firefighters just gets thrown away, with no regard to the history that it holds within. Firefighters love their gear -- it goes through what they go through. There has to be a better fate for this high-quality material, which is often still in good shape when it's destroyed. So we started working on a way to give this gear a second life as products that people would be proud to own. 

We went through several design iterations, but we quickly realized that the design was the easy part...

First we have to get the gear. Even though this gear is being destroyed, many departments can't just give it to us. There aren't clear regulations on what they can do with this unusable gear, but we've begun working closely with different departments to purchase the gear. As the awareness of what we're doing has grown, this is getting easier, but it can still be difficult to source the decommissioned gear.

Next, this is not your standard material that we could just purchase and start making products. We had to find a way to thoroughly clean and decontaminate the gear. Bunker gear goes through fire, hazardous substances, lots of dangerous stuff that you wouldn't want to carry around in your pocket. So we reached out to LION and found that they offer a cleaning and decontamination service (LION Total Care) that is at the top of the industry - on par with many medical centers in the country.

Next we had to find a manufacturer who was willing to take this bunker gear, break it down and cut it into segments of workable fabric, ready for production. In addition, we have a personal commitment to sourcing as much in the U.S. as possible, so the challenge was to find a manufacturer in the U.S., willing to work with non-standard materials, and be able to meet our high level of quality. Luckily, we found that with Indiana-based Moonshine Leather.

Hand-Made with Pride in Nashville, IN, USA

Well, we buy it before it is tossed. We have it cleaned to make certain it is safe. Then highly skilled leather workers, right here in the US, turn them into wallets and clutches. Each wallet is completely unique. They have been naturally “distressed” from years of firefighting. Each one tells a story as it has lived a life of its own. Now you can become a part of that life.

With a variety of styles ranging from money clips and front pocket (ID holder) wallets to checkbook wallets, trifold wallets and even ladies clutches. All in varying colors of gear, we definitely have something for you.

The Rewards

Get the most interesting wallet you'll ever own. Made from decommissioned, naturally distressed, high-quality Polybenzimidazole (PBI) material. (In addition to firefighter turnout gear, PBI is also used to fabricate high-performance protective apparel such as astronaut space suits, race driver suits and more.)

Choose your wallet and style, depending on reward level selected
Choose your wallet and style, depending on reward level selected
Ladies Clutch
Ladies Clutch
Exclusive Backer Tee
Exclusive Backer Tee

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We've already been producing these wallets at smaller production levels for the past 12 months so we've worked out the kinks when it comes to production. The biggest challenge is getting the gear. Because it's based on departments decommissioning gear, there are instances where particular colors may be hard to acquire. When that happens, it may take us a bit longer to deliver some wallets - however - we've tried to build that delay into the estimated delivery date so our amazing backers shouldn't have to wait too much longer even if this does become an issue.

*Any fire department footage (any persons, entities, organizations, or fire departments therein) do not endorse or in any way promote or sponsor the products represented in this video. Further, none of these (any persons, entities, organizations, or fire departments) were remunerated for any part in the video.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    THE VISIONARY PACKAGE: A thank you letter that can attest to your foresight, concern with the environment, and the economy. You are a visionary who is the foundation of our success. Every little bit helps and you are appreciated. A Kickerstarter exclusive supporter decal, after all you did help rescue the rescuer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $15 or more
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    11 backers Limited (489 left of 500)

    Limited edition mini-print of "Solid Bore". A sketch by James Love. Also includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package. This is a limited edition of 1,000 prints only. Every print is signed and numbered by James Love. Each print measures 8.5" x 11" inches and is printed on 100lb matte paper

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $15 or more
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    28 backers Limited (472 left of 500)

    Limited edition mini-print of "War Eagle". A sketch by James Love. Also includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package. This is a limited edition of 1,000 prints only. Every print is signed and numbered by James Love. Each print measures 8.5" x 11" inches and is printed on 100lb matte paper

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $15 or more
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    4 backers Limited (496 left of 500)

    Limited edition mini-print of "Italian Eagle". A sketch by James Love. Also includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package. This is a limited edition of 1,000 prints only. Every print is signed and numbered by James Love. Each print measures 8.5" x 11" inches and is printed on 100lb matte paper

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $15 or more
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    4 backers

    THE CELEBRATION PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package, Plus a shot glass with the exclusive backer logo. Celebrate with a drink!

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    5 backers

    BACKER TEE PACKAGE. Already have a wallet but you still want to support the cause? Get our exclusive backer tee (Sizes XS - 3X). Designed, printed and manufactured in the USA. Also includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package.

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $25 or more
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    30 backers

    MONEY CLIP PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and shot glass from the $15 package, Plus a used firefighter bunker gear money clip in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    62 backers

    FRONT POCKET WALLET PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and shot glass from the $15 package, Plus a used firefighter bunker gear front pocket wallet in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    21 backers Limited (479 left of 500)

    ALL 3 LIMITED EDITION PRINTS! Limited edition mini-prints of "Italian Eagle", "Solid Bore", and "War Eagle" sketches by James Love. Also includes the thank you letter and exclusive decal from the $5 package. This is a limited edition of 1,000 prints only. Every print is signed and numbered by James Love. Each print measures 8.5" x 11" inches and is printed on 100lb matte paper

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $35 or more
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    22 backers

    FRONT POCKET WALLET + BACKER TEE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and the exclusive backer tee from the $20 package, Plus a used firefighter bunker gear front pocket wallet in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $40 or more
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    24 backers

    LADIES CLUTCH PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and shot glass from the $15 package, Plus a used firefighter bunker gear ladies clutch in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    40 backers

    ANY WALLET PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and shot glass from the $15 package, Plus one(1) used firefighter bunker gear wallet of your choice (Bi-fold, Tri-fold, or Checkbook styles) in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $55 or more
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    19 backers

    ANY WALLET + BACKER TEE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and the exclusive backer tee from the $20 package, Plus one(1) used firefighter bunker gear wallet of your choice (Bi-fold, Tri-fold, or Checkbook styles) in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $65 or more
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    50 backers All gone!

    ULTIMATE CHOICE PACKAGE: While all our wallets are made from decommissioned gear and feature the reflective striping, about 5-10% of each production run has some really unique elements. This includes lettering from the firefighter's name or department, patches, etc. With this reward level, we will send you images of these wallets and let you choose the exact one you want. Also includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and shot glass from the $15 package.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $70 or more
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    75 backers All gone!

    ULTIMATE CHOICE + BACKER TEE: While all our wallets are made from decommissioned gear and feature the reflective striping, about 5-10% of each production run has some really unique elements. This includes lettering from the firefighter's name or department, patches, etc. With this reward level, we will send you images of these wallets and let you choose the exact one you want. Also includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and backer tee from the $20 package.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $90 or more
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    37 backers

    HIS AND HER PACKAGE: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, two(2) shot glasses, plus one(1) of any used firefighter bunker gear wallets of your choice: front pocket wallet, money clip, bi-fold, tri-fold, or checkbook styles. AND One(1) of any used firefighter bunker gear LADIES CLUTCHES -- in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability). MIX AND MATCH STYLES AND COLORS!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $125 or more
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    21 backers

    HIS AND HERS PACKAGE + BACKER TEES: Includes the thank you letter, exclusive decal, and two(2) shot glasses. Plus two(2) of our exclusive Kickstarter Backer logo shirts (American Apparel XS-3XL). Also one(1) of any used firefighter bunker gear wallets of your choice: front pocket wallet, money clip, bi-fold, tri-fold, or checkbook styles. AND One(1) of any used firefighter bunker gear LADIES CLUTCHES -- in your choice of black, maroon, tan or yellow gear (color options may be limited based on gear availability).. Mix and match colors and styles. 2 thank yous! 2 decals! 2 shot glasses! Its a 2-FER-ALL!

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    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $225 or more
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    4 backers Limited (46 left of 50)

    4 ALL PACKAGE! Everything from the $15 package PLUS One(1) Checkbook wallet, One(1) Front Pocket Wallet, One(1) Money Clip Wallet, and One(1) of your choice of Bi-fold, Tri-fold, or Ladies Clutch, + the thank you letters are signed by Black Helmet Co-Founder/Firefighter/Black Helmet Designer James Love

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  • Pledge $650 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    MEET-N-GREET MIAMI PACKAGE: Visit our Miami warehouse (bring up to 2 people) and hand-pick wallet and clutch and 6 t-shirts from all available inventory. Then go out for drinks (on us!) in Miami Beach with Black Helmet Co-Founders Firefighter James Love and Pedro Sostre. (Please note that airfare, hotel, and travel expenses are NOT included so you will need to arrange and pay for your own travel.)

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  • Pledge $1,250 or more
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    MAKE ME FAMOUS PACKAGE: Visit our Miami warehouse (bring up to 4 people) and hand-pick 1 wallet and clutch per person you bring (up to four people) and 8 t-shirts from all available inventory. Next, you'll take part in an official Black Helmet photo shoot where you'll be featured in an upcoming Black Helmet print ad. After a hard day of modeling, you'll go out for drinks (on us!) in Miami Beach with Black Helmet Co-Founders Firefighter James Love and Pedro Sostre. (Please note that airfare, hotel, and travel expenses are NOT included so you will need to arrange and pay for your own travel.)

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)