Friday, 21 June 2013

Surf Artisans: beach to board bag with wyatt & jack

Photo by Oliver Harvey

We first met Georgia at the London Surf Film Festival last year and we fell in love with her range of bags recycled from the fabrics of the beach, old deck chairs, marquees and parasols .. just fling all your childhood summers over your shoulder and go.   This creative lady has just relaunched her brand as wyatt & jack with a lush new website and a wealth of new products including recycled board bags, so we asked her to talk us through the process and what inspires her ..

"I love the stretch of water that separates the island from the mainland. It makes it feel like a proper adventure every time you leave (even when you have to wait a couple of hours because you've missed the ferry).  Which we have. Once again.

We're going to see Rik. Going to see Rik is very much like being a borrower or Hobbit .. everything in his workshop is ginormous (including him and his grin!).  Theres a 10 man inflatable SUP board hanging from the ceiling and two cutting tables that I can only just see the top of .. then theres the machines .. the machines.. he's got all kinds of special machinery that do the jobs we spend ages doing in half the time. Its my stainless steel equivalent of a chocolate factory!

wyatt & jack bags .. the yul, the tote, and the frank
This is the bonus of having our stuff manufactured in Britain. We’re looking at it...being made. When I first starting making the bags a couple of years ago, I knew that whatever happened to the business and however it grew, I didn’t want to export the fabric and have our bags made abroad. Aside from anything else, the minute you put it on a plane or a boat, the carbon footprint instantly counters the recycled nature of it. We don’t want to lose that, we’ve recycled over 4 tonnes of beach material so far!  Plus, we’ve got some of the best manufacturers in the world in the UK and we wanted to hunt them out and use them.

The struggle has been finding someone flexible and enthusiastic enough to join us. The materials are difficult to work with. They come to us, after living a previous life on the beach, then we wash them all back and reveal their original colours before they arrive at the manufacturers in assorted shapes and sizes.  We knew the person who took on the job would have to be into what we’re trying to achieve as much as we are, and with a sense of humour, some of the pieces we send him are probably not much larger than a pair of pants and a pretty similar shape!

The marquee pvc, previously a host to a Bollywood production and countless British festivals, is perfect for a boardbag. Its really durable and easy to keep clean, plus its not black!   Its nice to have a bit of colour for a change, the stripe at the end is from the deckchairs of the London Parks, thats my favourite bit!

board bag in the workshop
I don’t think I’ll ever stop enjoying seeing an idea turned into a tangible object, especially by a professional, they make it look so easy.  Months and months of planning and talking, yet in 20 minutes, theres a finished bag, its unreal really. I'm very lucky.

Heres a little film about the Boardbag Process, sorry about the grey tinge, but if we waited for sunshine, we’d never have had them made!"

process the boardbag from wyatt&jack on Vimeo.

wyatt and jack's board bags are already out and about being road tested by UK surfers, heres what Ernest Capbert of cold water surf company Finisterre had to say .. 
"I have a toiletry bag I love, I have a rucksack that I love and a pair of boots with red laces that I love. these are the things I take on a cold water surf trip and they all sit so well together. You put a board bag from one of the larger brands next to it all and although the board bag at times, does what it should, it falls short of looking beautiful, they always do. Can someone make a board bag that does what it should but also looks good? I can happily say yes, hello wyatt and jack."

photo courtesy E Capbert 

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