Sustainability and Environmental Management

A sustainable solution for sailors

As sailors we derive spiritual joy by spending time in marine environments – from rivers, lakes, bays and coasts through to reefs, the open ocean and even our polar regions.

Sail Exchange believes that businesses within the yachting and boating industries have a particular responsibility to minimise environmental degradation resulting from the enjoyment of leisure craft.


In recognition of our commitment to improving the sustainability of sailing through the reuse, resale and recycling of sails, we're proud to have been presented with HIGHLY COMMENDED: SUSTAINABILITY IN THE BOATING INDUSTRY AWARD 2023 by Australia's Boating Industry Association.

BIA Sustainability Awards Certificate_Sail Exchange 2023.pdf

A science-based approach

Sail Exchange recently employed environmental scientist John Crockett, who has trained in environmental sciences and management with a BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Resource Management and Biological Ecology and a Masters in Environmental Management. John has had a successful career in the rehabilitation and regeneration of natural bushland and is passionate about environmental conservation. Outside of work, he spends his life sailing, travelling, camping, hiking and climbing.


John is tasked with formalising our environmental management systems. By employing an environmental management plan, the company can manage the risks of environmental degradation associated with our specific industrial activity.

A primary environmental concern for Sail Exchange is the sails we handle – sails are large and made of plastics that generally can't be recycled. The fact that landfill is often the only option for the disposal of disused and old sails is an issue that should concern us all.

Sail Exchange is uniquely placed to reduce the waste and environmental impacts associated with the sail-making industry. Our business model is based on reuse, which is one of the three key tenets of waste reduction:

Reuse : used sails for sale

Thousands of sails are replaced by boat owners every year before the end of their usable life. Before Sail Exchange, they often adding to the clutter of household storage, or worse, ended up in landfill. At Sail Exchange, we review, rate, sell and ship used sails with the same exacting quality control standards we apply to the new sails we supply to give boat owners a lower-cost, high-quality alternative to buying new sails.


Our management goals include doing everything possible to avoid old sails that are beyond reuse from going into landfill and actively promoting and encouraging the repurposing of old sails and sail cloth for various purposes.

The repurposing of sails that have outlived their useful life is an important environmental management goal.

Our sails have been repurposed for:

  • interior/exterior architectural design and decoration
  • bags and other daily items.

In future, we plan to have a direct involvement and partnership with organisations involved in repurposing:

  • awnings
  • shelters
  • bags and other daily items.


Until recently, the recycling of disused and old sails has not generally been possible. We're now working with leading Australian scientists to explore the reuse and recycling of polymers and other materials used in sails.

We're investigating:

  • their potential use as fill by cutting up
  • and promoting recycling of sail plastics.

Our environmental, social and governance (ESG) statement

As a marine marketplace and supplier, acting responsibly and ethically and employing sustainable practices to preserve the integrity of marine environments is at the heart of the way we operate. We exist to facilitate the reuse and recycling of sails and yachting equipment to help reduce landfill and minimise our carbon footprint, while enabling yacht owners to get the most from their sailing with affordable, high-quality new and used products.

Sail Exchange embraces the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Goal 12 'Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns' and Goal 14 'Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development'.

Sail Exchange believes that the future success and prosperity of our society depends on the sustainability of our environment, our communities and our practices. We recognise the importance of considering the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) implications of our activities. We recognise that ESG considerations must also be part of our risk management framework and become part of our day-to-day decision-making processes. We believe that fulfilling these ESG responsibilities is best achieved by embedding ESG values in our policies, procedures and practices for the betterment of society.