Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You've Got Sail


You forgave your boyfriend for forgetting your birthday. You bought a refurbished phone instead of a shiny new one. You’re even giving jellies  another try.

Yes, you believe in second chances.

So does Kristine Hoffman, the Maui surfer who created Sailbags Maui, a new line of bright, durable totes made entirely from recycled kite sails.

Last year, Hoffman noticed a glut of discarded kitesurfing sails were ending up in island landfills − kitesurfers replace their worn or out-of-style sails pretty frequently. And because the sails are constructed from tough plastic and nylon, they can take generations to decompose.

So Hoffman hatched an idea to use the hefty fabric to make durable, all-purpose bags. She started by collecting used sails on Maui’s North Shore, simply by asking around letting people know she was recycling them. It didn’t take long for industry giants Naish Sails and Cabrinha Kites to hear about it and get on board to make sure she had a steady supply of old and outdated sails.

Hoffman then assembled a team of local women to make the bags, all of whom had previously sewed sails for the windsurfing industry. They turn out cute, colorful bags in superbright hues that are extremely durable against sun, salt and water. And, they can also handle heavy loads, dry quickly, fold down to almost nothing, and don’t wrinkle.

Easy to see why they’re flying off the shelves at Maui boutiques.

Talk about a second wind.

Sailbags Maui are available at Biasa Rose Boutique in Paia, Naish Maui Pro Center in Kahului, and online at www.sailbagsmaui.com.

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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