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Transforming retired sails for humanitarian aid.

ABOUT US


Sail to Shelter is a not-for-profit organization, committed to creating a global circular economy for retired Grand Prix and elite racing sails. The biggest sails live and retire in port cities around the world. These masterpieces are constructed with highly technical materials made from aramid fibers like kevlar and carbon fiber. Some sails take up as many square meters as a soccer field. Racing sails have a short life because of the level of competition involved. Sail programs are tuned and reworked each season. Professional sails are stored in shipping containers and mothballed or tossed into a landfill.


Sail to Shelter was founded in 2020 following a mass exodus from overpopulated urban areas before, during, and after the pandemic. Our only clear instruction was to shelter in place. Angela had been sailing out of LA and living in a loft over Skid Row. The helplessness and fear around not having a place to isolate, or a private place to be sick privately changed Angela forever. What started as a backpack that could convert into a tent for at least a modicum of privacy, has evolved into refugee camps and community centers, custom-made for each situation. 

Mission/Vision

OUR MISSION AND VISION

MISSION:

Our mission is to save retired elite, maxi and Grand Prix sails from landfill by transforming them into industrial-sized shade and shelter solutions for humanitarian crises around the world. 

VISION:

Sail to Shelter collects and transforms elite sails into shade and shelter for humanitarian aid organizations around the world.

Modern racing sails are highly customized, meticulously tuned pieces of specialized equipment that until now, have not had obvious and easy reuse options that would maximize their scale and durability.

Sails are donated and registered through a global network of lofts, manufacturers, and yacht clubs. Our goal is to locate the material as close to the area in need as possible. For example, we are shipping sails and rigging from Spain and Europe into Poland for crossing into Ukraine, and sails from San Diego and Miami for solutions at the US/Mexico border.

Ours is a three-pronged approach:

  1. Elite, maxi and Grand Prix retired sails currently have no meaningful second life. They are custom-made and used a handful of times. This project will keep millions of square meters of high-performance sail material out of landfill and oceans.
  2. We aim to maximize the world-wide sailing community to support local and nearby communities, camps, or disaster areas WHERE the material is being stored. This will save on the environmental impacts of moving things around the world.
  3. Through humanitarian aid organizations around the world, we will help millions of people desperate for basic human needs.

Our multidisciplinary approach to solving the problem allows everyone to bring their specialized discipline to the problem, allowing us to find the most robust solution. Included in the design and development process are; the customer, architects, structural and industrial engineers, master sailmakers, sailors, and textile engineers. We are building a global system that works for local communities using materials, supplies, and human resource to construct industrial solutions in areas that would otherwise have to wait weeks or even months and sometimes would never receive aid. 

Founder

FOUNDER

Angela Abshier

angela@sailtoshelter.org

Founder, Angela Abshier is determined to give elite sails a meaningful second life and help the lives of millions of people in the process. Angela has been in product development and commercialization for most of her career.

With a background in intellectual property law, Angela has served in executive roles in and around discovery and creation all of her professional life. She has been creating and designing solutions in industries ranging from casino gaming to sustainable fashion. She made a connection between the value in deadstock fabric in the garment industry and the unseen value in dead sails, and Sail to Shetler was born.