Closing the circle: Recycling kites into sails

We can all find ways to give back to the kite spots we love, whether you help protect the ocean, or support local communities. Cabrinha France's Thomas Lanquetin gives us a great example of how to get creative and help. Six years ago, Thomas, his father Thierry, and their friend Richard had the idea to use old kites to make sails to support fishermen in their favorite kite and surf spot on the southwest coast of Madagascar. It is one of the poorest areas on the island and over the years they have been thinking about how to help out the local island community without affecting their way of life. 

In Madagascar, being a fisherman is a high-risk job. Fishermen ride unsteady boats made out of the local Balsa which can be weak. Wooden canoes are rigged with sails made of a patchwork of materials worn out by time - threatening to be torn apart any moment. They sail when the sun rises, far out with no land in sight - until they fished enough to subsist. More than once fishermen got lost out at sea due to their salty boats, unfavorable weather conditions, or a whale surfacing unexpectedly. 

To help these men work in better conditions, Thierry and Thomas started to help with hand-sewed sails made out of used or broken kites.

What began as a small family project has now gained momentum. Last year, Thomas and his friends received hundreds of kites which they cut and sewed back together into 60 fishermen’s sails.

If you want to financially support the project to help pay for sewing tools and the transport cost from Marseille, France to the Madagascan villages this year, please use this link to their Crowdfunding campaign*:

*Tax receipts available