The Sail Recycling network, the first of its kind in the UK, will operate in the south west. Old sails will be repurposed into lifestyle products such as bags and deck chairs

The Sail Recycling network – the first of its kind in the UK – has been set up by the not-for-profit Clean Sailors and the Topsham-based Sails & Canvas.

It will operate out of the south west.

Sailcloth is made from a number of natural and synthetic materials including cotton, polyester and nylon, making it sturdy and durable.

Sail recycling - old sails can be turned into lifestyle products like bags rather than end up in landfill

The old sails will be turned into lifestyle products such as bags, washbags, deck chairs and doorstops. Credit: Clean Sailors

While sails are often used for many years before being discarded, they are not formally recyclable and therefore end up in landfill.

Now Clean Sailors has teamed up with Sails & Canvas to help turn old sails into new things.

Their first local partner is SKB Sails in Falmouth.

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Sailors are encouraged to drop off their old sails at SKB Sails, free of charge.

The sails will then be upcycled by Sails & Canvas at their estuary sail loft in Topsham, Devon, and made into a host of lifestyle products such as bags, washbags, deck chairs and doorstops.

The founder of Clean Sailors, Holly Manvell said there were plans to expand the network.

Recycle your sails where you see this sign

Recycle your sails where you see this sign

‘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,’ she added.

Clean Sailors was founded in July 2020 and aims to raise awareness of ocean conservation issues through research and sharing tips on sustainable sailing.

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