Shopping: let’s recycle!

Let’s meet Amalia. When the qualities of garbage collector, designer and seamstress come together!

The advantage when you travel by sailboat is that you meet all types of characters, from the sixty-eight man with his wooden boat from the 1950s, to the Swiss annuitant with a unique boat, custom-built for a tour of the world, there is everything, and everyone goes there in their own way to finance their trip, maintain their ship and make their merry way.

During a visit to a marina in Tenerife, with the idea of sheltering myself from a gust of wind announced by the sea weather forecast, I came across a colorful character, full of imagination, Amalia, whom I am going to describe to you in this 1st blog post, dedicated to “Unusual craftsmen and artists of the sea”, and I think this is only the first of a long series…

For those who are in a hurry, you can directly find his store here.


Self-taught and committed.

While strolling on the pontoon where I had taken refuge, I saw a very pretty old boat, with a spruce green hull with freshly redone paint, and a sign on its bow where it was written “Sailing Kâla, handmade bags and accessories made from recycled materials from the nautical industry”, include “Sailing Kâla, handmade bags and accessories, from recycled materials from the nautical industry”.

From there I very easily established a first contact with Amalia, of Belgian origin, who, like me, is a seafarer. The winds carried her to the Canary Islands, and for the moment she feels good there.

Starting his adventure on this classic 1960s sailboat called Kâla, with her crew, she could not remain indifferent to the large quantities of leftovers from the nautical industry destined to end up in the trash. That’s when the creativity started to tickle her and she thought there had to be something to do with all of this.

Then were born the first small accessories of the “Sailing Kâla” brand, completely sewn by hand from punctured fenders (protective buoys for boats) or other things she found in her path.

It was then during the winter of 2018 that the crew took the plunge and acquired their first sewing machine. Then, little by little, and over a long apprenticeship, by trial, error and endless days of sewing, unstitching and finally re-stitching, the first bags were born from the floats of semi-rigid boats. Then comes a whole range of unique and unusual accessories, totally in his image.


Simple fad or real necessity?

The textile industry is the most polluting in the world, it represents 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. The big brands no longer produce a summer and winter collection, but a new collection every 3 weeks, all made quickly, at low prices, in factories relocated to the other side of the world, at a lower cost, and with obsolescence. programmed clothing which has been very well studied and calculated.

If the textile industry stopped all production overnight, we would have enough to last for decades simply by recycling existing materials, instead, we continue to produce, sell, buy and then throw away.

“Sailing Kâla” products are made from recycled merchandise, made to last over time, original and sold at a fair price.


It takes time, beeeaaalot of time…

Recycling waste is a long and tedious job. Granted, you don’t pay for your raw material directly from a supplier with cash, but you don’t get this one without using a lot of elbow grease.

You must first know where to find salvage, and therefore build a network of partners. Then organize rounds to collect it. Also you have to be able to ensure storage, then there is a lot of cleaning and preparation work to make it usable. It’s only after all this effort that the creative work and design comes into play.

The materials are often very difficult to work with, and to succeed in making them fit the desired shape and hold them as desired, you need a lot of experience, acquired over time, from successes and failures.


Avoid overflowing your suitcases, she sends them to you!

To this day, the Kâla is still sailing with its new crew. As for the production, it has left the cockpit of the boat to move into a small modest workshop, but which is very practical and allows the brand to continue to grow and accumulate the necessary materials.

You can either meet Amalia on site in the south of Tenerife, by contacting her on +34 642 77 51 72, or click on this link to view her online store and order, delivery costs are very reasonable for continental Europe and free for Spain.

To conclude :

Thank you for reading this article and thank you for sharing it as much as you want!
Thanks also to Amalia for giving me the inspiration to write this article, and to the photographer Juanmi Alemany who did a great job!