Sealand Gear: turning yacht sails into responsible sales
Caitlin26 Jan, 2021
Ever thought to wear old yacht sails on your back? The team at Sealand Gear sure did! This innovative company upcycles old yacht sails and other waste materials into trendy backpacks, moonbags, and accessories that will make both you, and the planet, extremely happy.
Towards the end of last year, I bought myself a moonbag made from upcycled canvas, and can confirm that I take it everywhere. There’s space for my wallet, keys, and phone – and that’s all I need. One of my favourite touches is that the inside of the bag includes the stamp of the individual who made it. Shumirayi, thank you so much! I love my moonbag.
We connected with the Sealand Crew to learn more about their business and why they do what they do.
Where did this business idea come from?
The idea stemmed from the journey of a previous bag making business, which specifically focused on making bags from yacht sails. Sealand evolved around the notion of working with more than just old sails, using a variety of waste materials to create a new aesthetic and brand story. We hero Cape Town, but have travelled the world and become globally recognized for being socially and environmentally responsible. We wanted to be a business that is inspired by our natural playgrounds and uplifts the communities that surround us.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a big word with many meanings. It is overused and misused. At Sealand we prefer to use the term “responsible”. We speak about social and environmental responsibility, which directly relates to people and the planet. We look at building the best possible products through a process known as “upcycling”, which is revaluing waste and creating new value. This process essentially intercepts waste from landfills, which has a positive impact on the environment.
It’s not an exact science, but considering that we make around 6000 bags per year, our bags are made from 90% waste, and our average bag weighs 1kg; each bag diverts 900g from landfills. Some simple math would mean that last year we diverted 5400kgs.
On the people front, we do our best to treat the Sealand Crew as family; with respect, and as fellow humans. We look to pay above a living wage to our Production Crew and encourage transparency and upliftment within all departments. We seek to educate our audience and Crew on the importance of treading lightly on the environment, ultimately making us all better people.
Why is upcycling so important to your business?
Upcycling is one of the key pillars of the Sealand brand and story. It is a very challenging process to execute on a commercial level, and requires exceptional production, procurement, and design skills. If achieved successfully, upcycling can contribute to a circular economy and way of living.
What drives your business?
Creativity, commitment, people, passion, positivity, responsibility, all mixed up into a beautiful story.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you had when you were starting out?
Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight, there is a long road with many intersections along the way. All of which require commitment and focus to get through. While on this journey, make sure to keep balance in mind, as this will allow one to sustain the long journey ahead.
You can visit the Sealand Crew at any of their locations across Cape Town, or place an order via their website and pay with SnapScan.
We’re currently running a competition with Sealand Gear and have a hamper worth R9000 up for grabs, so you can stand a chance to win your very own upcycled gear. Head on over to our Instagram to enter.
If you’d like to share your business’ SnapScan story with us, please get in touch at email@example.com.
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