Sea Bags Sails Away with Sustainable Handbags and Home Decor

I have had the option to journey to a lot of destinations above the previous 15 many years, from coastline to coastline in the United States as effectively as overseas to international locations where by the waste and recycling lifestyle and infrastructure is a complete 180 degrees from the United States.

Even prior to my role at Waste360 I noticed what happens to my trash. Wherever does it go? What should I do with it? How accurately is the waste infrastructure formed?  All individuals develop waste. So, it’s a curiosity that constantly hangs somewhere in my consciousness.

On a recent trip to the Florida Keys, I ran across Sea Luggage, a Maine-centered brick-and-mortar and on-line retailer whose catalog is comprised of purses and extras crafted from previous sails.

Sea Baggage was launched in 1999, before the phrase “upcycle” was even a colloquial time period. Uncooked components are sourced from the New England spot and the United States. The add-ons, hand baggage, dwelling decor and rope are manufactured by 200 Maine craftspeople at the firm’s 20,000 square foot headquarters and shipped across the world. The firm at the moment has 45 retailers, with intense growth designs focused in coastal towns from Maine to Florida to the Great Lakes and California.

Ahead of its inception, there was no next use for the stunning fabrics that adorn sailboats and ships, they have been merely considered not sailable and thrown away. To day, Sea Bags has saved additional than 700 tons of sails from coming into landfills. 

I attained out to Sea Bag’s Beth Greenlaw, president and main sustainability officer, to discover much more about the business and how it places sustainability into action. 

Squander360: What is the condition of ocean trash/plastics? What has Sea Baggage noticed?

Greenlaw: While we can’t accurately converse to the point out of ocean trash/plastics, we do know it is a world wide problem. We have noticed a significant work from all that really like the ocean to dedicate to remaining additional accountable. We are working with North Sails, a international sailmaker, to commit to trying to keep sails from the landfill and to get the job done with the complete sector on how to minimize waste and give use to components after their useful life sailing Mount Gay Rum and 4Oceans to clean the ocean, and numerous very well-recognised Regatta organizers to commit to clean sailing.  

Waste360: What was the travel guiding the development of Sea Baggage?

Greenlaw: It was mostly to give a beautiful material a new use and to hold it from the landfill. Even so, in building the organization we also made the cornerstones that we adhere to currently: to produce jobs and continue to keep our goods designed in the United states and particularly Maine like sourcing our uncooked materials, to be excellent stewards of our neighborhood, to be inexperienced in products and practices and to constantly make improvements to in all those regions.

Squander360: About how a lot of suppliers/resources do you have for your supplies?

Greenlaw: We source our employed sails from all around but generally the US. Sourcing for the rest of our raw resources will come from the plan we designed as we began the corporation: in an effort and hard work to make positions in Maine and the U.S., we purposely supply from Maine 1st, New England second, the U.S. 3rd and we attempt to quit it there. We believe that there is a actual ripple effect in position generation by supporting our U.S. suppliers.

Squander360: Did you have any problems sourcing supplies in the starting?

Greenlaw: In the starting it was phrase of mouth. We traded tote luggage for utilized sails from sailboats. Now we have a crew that is paid out to carry in recycled sails from all around and we also have 40 furthermore merchants that provide as sail fall destinations and function with sail makers like North Sails to retain the sails out of landfills. We like everybody to have a Sea Bags product or service to remind them that the sails have a different use, but the item is second to the act of recycling.

Squander360: What initiatives or partnerships do you have in conditions of ocean conservation endeavours?  

Greenlaw: Very last yr we partnered with Mount Homosexual Rum and actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier to generate a limited-version selection to assist 4ocean’s ocean cleanup initiatives. We were being capable to fund the cleanup of in excess of 150 lbs of trash from our oceans and coastlines. That has given that transitioned into a partnership for clear regattas with Mount Homosexual. We are a normal spouse for the Atlantic Cup and will also be the sustainability sponsor for the Newport to Bermuda race. We are doing work with North Sails to endorse clean sailing as a result of our sail travel efforts and have strategies to measure our final results with North Sails.

Squander360: What kinds of options does having a brick-and-mortar give in phrases of customer schooling?

Greenlaw: Our 40+ shops act as sail redemption centers. Our retail groups are ambassadors for recycling sails. We also market our Eco-friendly Circle Certification in these outlets so the consumers know to trust our initiatives.

Waste360: Are there any other organization endeavours you would like to mention? 

Greenlaw: In 2021 we became Environmentally friendly Circle Qualified for recycled content in our totes. It grew to become quite obvious that consumers are on the lookout for 3rd party verification in sustainability initiatives. We will proceed to broaden on this certification going ahead. 

Squander360: Sustainability is the “cornerstone” of your manufacturer. Can you make sure you notify me far more about what that indicates?

Sustainability is of system about saving our earth and starting to be a lot more eco-friendly. For us it really is also about conserving our operating waterfront in Portland and about bringing minimize and sew again to the U.S. and specifically to Maine. We have made the corporation all around these pillars and even now use these principles to information us these days.

Editor’s Observe: Coastline to Coast is a new sequence that explores waste, recycling and sustainability from the viewpoint of Squander360’s editors.