Sails & Canvas supports Clean Sailors

Sails & Canvas supports Clean Sailors

24 November 2020, 09:00 GMT

Clean Sailors and Sails & Canvas

Clean Sailors is excited to announce that it now supported by Sails & Canvas!

Based in Devon, UK, the Sails & Canvas team recycle sail cloth to create a whole host of lifestyle products, making sure that these huge sheets of complex materials stay out of landfill.

Sailcloth begins life as industrial fiber and film, made to withstand some of the harshest environments and natural forces, combining wind, UV light and salt water. Naturally, sails wear out and need to be replaced, however, Sails & Canvas handcraft old sails into nautically inspired lifestyle products.

“We are proud to support Clean Sailors, with sails so close to our hearts and the future of the planet in our minds” say Mandi and Juliette, founders of Sails & Canvas.

“Whilst sails last for decades, being able to recycle and upcycle such huge sheets of complex plastic, fibrous and durable material is fantastic. We are really proud to be supported by the Sails & Canvas team who really understand what the ethos of clean sailing is about!” says Holly of Clean Sailors.


We caught up with the Sails & Canvas team to share more about how they got set up, what motivates them and how sailors can go about recycling their sails...


What inspired you to set up Sails & Canvas?

For many years Sails and Canvas was a traditional sail and cover maker in Topsham. One of the partners retired and the other set up a new business and there was our opportunity...a beautiful sail loft on Topsham quay, a handful of industrial sewing machines, a load of old sails and a head full of products that could be made by reusing them. We relaunched Sails and Canvas in June 2015, handcrafting lifestyle products from recycled sails and colourful marine canvas.


What do you do with old sails, what do you make?

We make bags, accessories for the beach, garden and home as well as gifts - many of our products can be personalised.  We also have a range of limited editions, featuring bags made from unusual or coloured sails or using the original sail numbers.


What are your most popular products, and which products do you like making the most?

This year has been unusual (understatement) but we had lots of orders for deck chairs and bunting during lockdown and then windbreaks and beach bags were popular once people were able to get out to our British Beaches again. We love making beach bags, they are big and bold and you know the old sails from which they are made will be happy to spend time by the sea again!


Why should sailors consider donating sails to projects like yours?

Modern sails constructed from man-made durable materials are not bio-degradable and to date we have not found anyone who will accept sailcloth to be shredded and reused as stuffing etc. We have heard of old sails being burned, which is scary but generally if they end up in landfill they will remain unchanged for a long time. We hope that using old sails for our products will save some of this fabric from landfill and help look after the planet in a small way.


Why do you feel it’s important that we recycle and upcycle?

We are seeing the disastrous consequences that throw away/single use consumerism has on the planet. Although we talk about recycling sails, we are actually reusing the fabric and repurposing the sail. We believe in less packaging, less waste, repurposing and reusing and buying things that are designed to last. We always say our sailcloth bags are true bags for life! 


Where can sailors find out more information about donating their sails to you?

We have lots of information about how to recycle your sail with us on our website (link: We like to offer a product made from your sail in exchange or if preferred we will make a donation to RNLI as a thank you for recycling with us.