Kinsale is a picturesque, popular and historic town on the southwest coast of Ireland. It is a port town and holds a very large harbor for boats and tall ships. In June 2013, the Astrid, a tall ship from the Netherlands, ran aground and was scrapped at Kinsale’s Lobster Quay in December 2013. The ship was in Kinsale for one of the regattas held in the town when it ran aground and sank along the rocks a short distance away from Kinsale harbour, at Oysterhaven.
The forty-two meter steel square-rigger held fast on the rocks at Ballymacus Point for six weeks before being salvaged in a complex operation, it is as a result of the wreckage that a lot of up-cycling has occurred . Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
A photo of Kinsale Harbour
Mamukko is a creative workshop which designs and creates a range of bags from up-cycled sailcloth, PVC tarpaulin and marine fabrics. It has sustainable and eco-friendly product development at the core of their business and their style of bags mix elegant and classical with daring unique materials, creating an eco-style of their own. Mamukko was first set up in 2011 by Hungarian brothers, Attila and Levente Magyar.
Attila and Levente, originally from Transylvania, struck a deal with Astrid skipper Pieter de Kam to acquire seven sails retrieved from the sea six weeks after it ran aground off Kinsale. Originally, the concept was conceived by Levente. As a designer in Budapest, he thought about upcycling shopping bags and was intrigued by the use of sails as a material for his bags.
In association with a local sailing company, Sovereign Sailing Cork, they use the materials from the wreckage of old ships, such as the Astrid, to upcycle material such as the sails, or even life-vests. They use a range of fabrics from bicycle seats, tires, even advertising banners to make two lines of designs, one of which is the Astrid collection. They are supported by the South West Cork enterprise board and have won three awards as a "start up," innovative, and green company.
Atilla and Levente, Hungarian brothers and creators/owners of Mamukko
In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been pushing initiatives for re-use and resource exchange between companies and SMILE, Saving Money through Industrial Links and Exchanges, is one such service that facilitates resource exchange. SMILE Resource Exchange is a free service for businesses that encourages the exchanging of resources between its members in order to save money, reduce waste going to landfill, and to develop new business opportunities. Potential exchanges are identified through networking events, an online exchange facility, and a support team.
Is this new way of developing businesses more beneficial for businesses in the long term?
Credit: Images by Olivia Dolan and Mamukko. Data linked to sources.