If you're planning to replace your sails this winter, give your old canvas a new lease of life... by turning them into a pair of sunglasses! Our friends at Waterhaul in Cornwall take ghost nets, old dacron sails and polypropylene rope and transform them into stylish shades as well as beach cleaning tools.
Waterhaul was founded in 2018 by Marine Conservationist and Scientist Harry Dennis after he realised that all of the properties which make lost fishing gear such a problem; its abundance, its strength and durability, combine to make it an excellent resource as a material for super strong frames. Repurposing the fisheries term 'waterhaul', meaning an empty catch, from it's original negative connotations, for Harry and his team, hauling an empty net from the ocean is a success core to their manifesto.
First the material is cleaned and then shredded into pellets, from their it is injection moulded into the required shape.
Following the success of the sunglass and prescription glasses frames, Harry and co turned to other products and in more recent years they've been creating beach cleaning tools from this super durable material with beach knives, bag hoops and litter pickers added to their online shop. As a social enterprise, the Waterhaul team also seek to educate and joined us for the last two years at Portland Week with their build-a-litter-picker workshops as part of their Pla-NET Action initiative.
However, they've run into a bit of conundrum as they're starting to run out of ghost nets to recycle. Whilst this is a positive, it means their business model has a slight problem! But fishing nets aren't the only things made out of these kinds of plastic (Currently they utilise two main polymers; nylon from gill, tangle and siene nets and polypropylene from ropes and trawl nets) and Harry and his team have developed a way to use old dacron or nylon sails and polypropylene ropes too. So rather than skipping your old anchor warp which has been languishing in the locker for years or your shredded genoa, pop them into the marina office and we'll pass them onto Waterhaul to become next summer's sunnies!