If there's one thing that fascinates design buffs it's objects with an interesting history behind them.
Which is something that Greek accessories brand Salty Bag has, well, in the bag.
The company, based on the island of Corfu, repurposes all those decommissioned yacht sails bound for the scrapheap, and turns them into very funky bags.
Salty Bag co-founder Stratis Andreadis has sea water in his blood, having sailed since he was a five-year-old. At one time, he was 29th in the World Match Race Rankings, and last year he came second in the European Offshore Championships sailing a 42-foot Grand Soleil.
"I noticed there was a tremendous amount of waste when it came to sails," says Andreadis.
"A typical racing sail can last as little as 90 hours. Afterwards they are used for training purposes, before being buried or burnt. Apart from the environmental cost, seeing a sail destroyed is distressing for us sailors, because these pieces carry stories of what we have been through."
In 2013, Andreadis and his colleagues, Cryssa Chalikiopoulou and Spiros Daikos, were downing a few Ouzos and pondering the more-than-a-million-square-feet of sails discarded each year, in Greece alone. They arrived at the idea to give the old sails a new and fashionable life by turning them into handsome luggage.
"The idea for Salty Bag was based around the fact that we need to start properly reusing our materials, for the sake of the planet, and secondly, that people love to have something authentic, with a story behind it. Each Salty Bag has had its own adventurous life before it became something new."
Tales of the sea
According to Andreadis, the company takes care to research the history of each sail used to make a bag. That history is presented with the bag on a coded swing tag. Simply look up the code online and you'll find out everything about the races the sail competed in and the boats which it powered. More than 90 percent of the sails come from the great seafaring nation of Greece.
"I just delivered 50 bags to a client that were made from a sail that won the World Championships in 1981 and 1993," says Andreadis.
The gentleman's all-rounder
The Salty Bag range includes clutches, handbags and totes, but most blokes will opt for the duffel; a gorgeous white carry-all that evokes images of JFK at Newport in September 1963.
Andreadis says the inspiration for the duffel came from looking at photographs of old wooden racing yachts, where around 60 per cent of the image is the white of the sails, 35 per cent is the brown and tan of the timber decks, and 5 per cent are the shiny brass fittings.
"We transferred those colour proportions to the duffel bag, which is made from white polyester sail cloth, Tuscan leather trim and handles, and high-grade brass hardware."
Tested in rough waters
Having already endured storm and tempest on the high seas, the polyester sail material is more than up to the task of carrying your stuff from the car boot to the hotel room. All of the bags are handcrafted on Corfu.
The duffel comes in three sizes: the smallest serves as a day bag for those quick trips to the family compound. The medium (or standard) is designed as a weekender for staying overnight on the Beneteau, while the largest size can take you to Monaco for up to ten days.
Already the duffel is proving popular with yachties across Europe, but it is also being scooped up by land-lubbers who just want something unique to drag to the five-star digs.
A piece of Greece
Salty Bag is currently sold in Greece, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the USA. A very limited edition is specially made for the Yacht Club de Monaco.
Helen Tirekidis, founder of Greek Style Council, is bringing Salty Bag to Australia in 2017. She says Australians are going to be seeing a lot more of Greek design in the near future.
"Since the economic crisis, Greece had had a lot of negative press but what many Australian's aren't aware of yet is that Greece has so much to offer the world when it comes to beautiful design and craftsmanship," she says.
If you're keen to get your hands on your own Salty Bag, contact GreekStyleCouncil.com to register your interest.