Published on: 13 May 2021A sail recycling network – the first of its kind in the UK – has been set up by Clean Sailors and Devon-based Sails & Canvas.
Sailcloth is intentionally made to be robust from a number of natural and synthetic materials including cotton, polyester and nylon, ready for being used for a life of adventure in storm-force winds, high UV exposure and salty conditions. While sails are often used for many years before being discarded, they are not formally recyclable and therefore often end up in a landfill.
However, old sails can be made into new things, which is why Clean Sailors has teamed up with Sails & Canvas to create a Sail Recycling network in the South West, UK. The partnership is pleased to share that SKB Sails in Falmouth is the network's first local partner. Sailors are encouraged to drop off their old sails at SKB Sails, free of charge. The sails will then be upcycled and given a second life, being made into a host of lifestyle products such as bags, washbags, deck chairs and doorstops.
“We are really excited to introduce our Sail Recycling Network here in the South West. Despite being too old for our boats, worn-out and damaged sails can be turned into much other great quality and sturdy products. It’s awesome to have bought our project to life in Falmouth with our local partner, SKB Sails, and we look forward to rolling our Sailing Recycling Network out further afield over the coming months, keeping these huge sheets of highly durable materials out of landfill” says Holly Manvell, founder of Clean Sailors.
All donated sails will be given a second life by Clean Sailors’ partner, Sails & Canvas, who use the recycled sailcloth to make lifestyle products from their estuary sail loft in Topsham, Devon.
Clean Sailors is a not-for-profit, mobilising the global sailing community in the conservation of the seas, with the aim of creating an ocean ambassador in every sailor. To find out more, visit here.