SPOTLIGHT: Alyssa of Baggywrinkles in Cornwall, UK
In our 'Spotlight' series, we speak with some of the people and teams working to give sails a second life.
In this edition, we speak with Alyssa who founded Baggywrinkles in Cornwall, UK. After re-training as a Marine Canvas Maker, Alyssa saw an opportunity to prevent canvas scraps ending up in landfill...
Tell us about your ReSail project, how did you get started?
In 2017 my husband and I took a year off work, took our 3 children out of school and decided to show them some of the world - under sail. So, we did the Atlantic circuit, cruising down the seaboards of Europe, across to the Canaries and Cape Verde, over the Atlantic to the Caribbean, back across to the Azores before making landfall in our favourite family sailing spot - The Isles of Scilly!!
It was a truly wonderful year that gave me time to reflect on life at home. On return I decided to leave my job in the NHS and retrain as a sail / marine canvas maker. I started by attending a wonderfully inspirational short Sail-making course at The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis. I then managed to get myself a job as an apprentice Marine Canvas Maker. Quite quickly, I was horrified by the amount of scrap materials that would be put in the bin and then ultimately make its way from the marina bins into landfill. So, with the permission of my manager at the time, I started to take all useable scrap home to up-cycle into bags and rapidly found that I had a busy little 'side hustle' - there was plenty of scrap and plenty of people willing to buy items made from old or end of roll marine fabrics.
What materials do you most look for, why this in particular?
I up-cycle marine canvas and sails. This is because these are the materials that use in my line of work as a Marine Canvas Maker - so, I don't set out to buy any materials to make Baggywrinkles Salvaged Bags... I salvage the scraps from my other marine cover and sail projects with the aim of reducing as much as possible the materials that get sent to landfill.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest moment in this journey so far was the realisation that my 'Side Hustle' had the potential to be a business in its own right, leaving my employment with another Marine Canvas business and setting up as a sole trader.
Why is it important for you that we give old things new life?
The worlds resources are finite - Use what we already have in existence. We don't always need new, it is by far better to reuse, recycle, up-cycle. I try to live my life in general like this not just my business...for my children and my children's children.
Where can we find out more about your project?
Find out more at www.baggywrinkles.co.uk
Facebook: Baggywrinkles East Cornwall
Or See the bags that are for sale at Calstock Boatyard's Honesty Box Cafe or Weir-Quay's The Yard Cafe - All the bags are unique, made from genuine up-cycled sails and boat canvas and a percentage of each sale goes to the very small Cornish or Devon boatyard in question.