Upcycling sails

Sails are strong and durable, made to withstand Earth's toughest environments. Their complex structures of a variety of materials means they aren't formally recycled or reused.

What are sails made of?

Sails are made from a variety of materials, which vary across class of boat and type of sailing. From main sheets to jibs, genoa's, Code Zeros and kites, to racing sails and traditional canvas, sails have become highly engineered over the years to suit a range of boat designs as well as wind/weather conditions.

Examples of materials used to make sails are: 


Carbon Fibre



Ultra PE 

Whilst made of incredibly strong, light, flexible and durable materials, sails are not formally reused or recycled.


What can we do with old sails?


But sails can be given a second life.

Old and second hand sails can be recycled, as can a whole range of sail-related materials and products including sail bags and sailcloth. 

In many cases, old sails can be repurposed into 'new' sails for smaller boats, and can also be turned into everyday items such as bags, jackets, canvas and other lifestyle goods. 

But there’s so much more. Research into sailmaking is continually showing us that sails can be upcycled on a more industrial scale and repurposed into industries such as manufacturing, construction and automotive. 

This is where our platform starts. ReSail encourages all sailors to view used sails as a new resource, not as old waste, and we do this by providing a platform and locations for sailors to donate and drop-off old, used sails.

We’re working with a range of partners across the world to help us do just this.



How and where do you recycle old sails? 

Our ReSail platform shows you drop-off points around the world, where your old sails will be used to create new products. 

Many of our partners create lifestyle goods from old sails, from bags and deck chairs to interior pieces, whilst others make affordable, repurposed sailing parts. One of our latest partners is even exploring old sail fibres in new boat hulls! 

If you’d like more information or simply to chat to us in more depth about how to recycle your old sails or any project that you have then we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a note via our contact form 

If you need old sails for your project, then come join our ReSail platform. Just see our Application form