Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What’s Old is New Again

IMG_2544When our old, tired sails came down and fresh, new sails were raised in their place, I must admit that I felt a twinge of loss.  These sails had served us well and been such a conversation piece over the years.  True, we were replacing the old tanbark sails with, well, new tanbark sails, but there was still part of me that would miss the striking reddish-orange fabric and the distinctive “HC 33” patch marking us as a Hans Christian.

We considered selling the mainsail and jib on Craigslist or through a consignment shop, but the number of people who want used sails is pretty limited.  And when the sails are tanbark, the pool of potential buyers dries up even quicker.  So what to do?  Recycle them, of course.

Sea Bags, based on the waterfront in Portland, Maine, takes old sails and gives them new life – as gorgeous totes, wine bags, travel accessories and other fun gear. A hang tag attached to each bag states “Sailed around the world. Recycled in Maine.”  Very cool.  And very green.

So we rolled and squished and stuffed our sails into boxes, printed a couple prepaid UPS labels (yes, they cover shipping costs!) and sent our sails on a journey all the way across the country.  In return, Sea Bags made us this stunning tote bag and cute wristlet from our sails.  Not only are they beautiful, hand-sewn bags, but I get to carry a piece of our history around with me wherever I go.  And just like the sail it came from, I’m pretty sure this tote will end up being a conversation piece too.IMG_6959 Donate your sails and shop for cute totes at