When looking up the definition of luxury in the dictionary, the description states: “a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living.”
Nowhere in that description does it mention or even allude to sustainability. Our understanding of luxury predates any current day considerations we have regarding sustainable living. Salty Bags wants to change that! They believe that luxury in the 21st century needs to be synonymous with sustainable.
Salty Bag is an upcycling company that was founded in 2013 on the beautiful island of Corfu. The company creatively reuses decommissioned sails from sailboats and masterfully handcrafts beautiful bags, totes and accessories.
How Do They Do It?
Salty Bags has established a network of partners that assist the company in collecting sails that are deemed no longer suitable for sailing. Even after reaching their end of service at sea, sails will retain their strong, long-lasting, weather resistant nature; the perfect raw material to be upcycled. Rather than toss the sails in the trash, the sails are collected by Salty Bag and brought back to their studio.
Once at the studio, quality and condition is assessed to ensure they will provide the perfect material to craft. The approved sails are carefully washed in the most environmentally responsible way and air dried. The washed sails are subsequently sorted by type, color and texture.
This is the point where the magic of Salty Bag happens. Usually, companies know what they want to create and source their raw materials accordingly. At Salty Bag, it is the raw materials available that inspires the team to create the products they do. Based on what is available to them, the team envisions what their new collection will be. The sails are carefully cut by hand ensuring minimal waste of material. The cut pieces are subsequently hand sewn together to create wonderfully unique bags, totes and accessories.
Each Bag Has a Story to Tell
Three basic types of sails are used to create Salty Bags. If the bag is mostly white, it means that it is made of polyester (commonly known as DACRON) and comes from a sail used for cruising. A yellowish material is KEVLAR, commonly used for racing. A thinner and often colorful material is NYLON, which is used to make spinnakers.
Every Salty Bag is a unique piece. No two Salty Bags will be alike. There are differences in texture, color, stiching and aging, depending on how each sail was used. The sails may come with marks, abrasions, scrapings and sometimes creases. The team at Salty Bag does not consider these defects but rather traces of each bag’s unique story. Each Salty Bag comes with a numbered tag detailing where the sail that made that bag was sourced from, how it was used and where in the world it had traveled before becoming a "Salty".
Sustainability is finally gaining the attention it needs in the retail industry. Condé Nast & Vogue recently hosted a summit in Athens where sustainability was a key topic. Numerous companies are finding ways to create products that are less taxing on the natural environment. We are so proud to be collaborating with Salty Bag, a company that is a pioneer in sustainable fashion and nominee for the 2020 Bravo Sustainability Award.
Salty Bag is not only sustainably creating beautiful handbags but are also redefining what should be considered luxury. Because luxury in the 21st century should be sustainable.