The idea of turning retired boat sails into sun shades, shower curtains, and other useful things initially blew me away. That was about five years ago. Many giant sail tote sightings later, the concept seemed gimmicky and questionable: did anyone need such unwieldy bags and were real sails actually being recycled? That was until Francesca and I happened upon the Dvelas display at New York’s ICFF last month.
Led by architect Enrique Kahle, the Pamplona, Spain-based company has been turning old sails into inventive (if pricey) outdoor furniture since 2011. Each piece comes with a reassuring “traceability tag” noting the original port home, sail type, and number of the boat it came from. More important, the new uses for the material feel both timeless and fresh, perhaps because, as Kahle says, “sailing techniques and the intrinsic qualities of the sailcloth” are the inspiration, “as is, of course, the sea and its poetry.” Here’s their latest plus a few greatest hits, all shown on the Spanish coast. Dvelas, take us away.
All of the designs and specs are on the Dvelas site and available from retailers throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan. The US distributor is Couture Outdoor of Southampton, NY, which sells to the trade and the public (in cases where prices aren’t included here, inquire with Couture Outdoor directly).
Have a sail you’re getting rid of? Dvelas is ready to talk. The company is also open to making custom designs and is currently working with the Volvo Ocean Cup Race’s Abu Dhabi sails.
Here are more clever uses for recycled sails:
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