Deriva Sailmakers, the backpack brand committed to sustainable manufacturing

Published on August 9, 2019 by Carlota V.
deriva sailmakers

Deriva Sailmakers is a backpack brand developed in the Basque Country that is committed to a more sustainable manufacturing process. Its objective is to promote a cleaner and stronger local fashion industry with the use of parts and fabrics made with 3D printing. The brands’ original backpacks have a sleek and elegant design and incorporate a marine inspiration: they are developed from recycled nautical material. This means that their backpacks can be described as “zero waste”. In addition, the young brand encourages local production through the use of sails produced in the region. To better understand this eco-sustainable design project, we met Alba Albelda and Ramón Goñi, the two young men behind Deriva Sailmakers. 

3DN: Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about Deriva Sailmakers?

We are a small brand that works with disused nautical equipment. We manufacture our products with local craftsmen and use 3D printing to add the missing parts. We were born from the sea, from a small sailing workshop in the 1980s, when we were still sailing in jeans on the Basque coast. There were also bags made to sail with broken sails. Deriva Sailmakers was born from this nostalgia: we wanted to save old traditions and offer bags made from damaged sails. 

For our first sketches of the 1701 model – our first backpack – we realised that in addition to the material from the sails, we needed something else to finalise the bag. This is where 3D printing comes in and our partner Comme des Machines has helped us to bring the final touch to the backpack. 

3DN: Can you explain in detail how you manufacture your products?

We work with several sailmakers scattered throughout the Basque Country and Galicia. They contain a lot of disused material, torn or worn sails, pieces that have been thrown away, abandoned fabrics, etc. We collect all this material and select it to design our backpacks. We don’t have many models, and they all start from the first basic model, 1701.

The colours change according to the availability of the material, so the number of backpacks produced per colour is quite limited. Once the material has been selected, we cut it and manufacture it with local craftsmen. Then, the 3D printed parts are added to the sail. It’s actually quite easy to sew them on. We can finally print anything on our FDM 3D printers: fasteners, boats, our logo, etc. 

deriva sailmakers

The 3D printed parts of the bags | Credits: Deriva Sailmakers

3DN: Why does Deriva Sailmakers use 3D printing to personalise its backpacks?

3D printing is a sustainable and accessible form of personalisation for small brands like us. This gives us a flexibility in terms of iteration that could not have been possible with traditional manufacturing methods. Small customised series can be produced very easily. In addition, we don’t throw much material away, it fits well with our vision.

3DN: How important are technologies such as additive manufacturing to sustainable production?

As we have said, 3D printing allows us to customise without generating huge additional costs, without forcing us to produce large series of products that represent a disadvantage for small local brands. It is a very powerful tool for people like us: we do not give up doing it locally and in a limited way. 

deriva sailmakers

3DN: Any last words for our readers?

3D printing is already part of our identity. We are working on new products and, of course, they will include 3D printed parts. Don’t stop innovating and believing in your projects. 3D printing may seem futuristic, but it is a tool that allows us to do things as before, that is, close to home and without producing waste. Find more information on our official website HERE and in the video below:

 What do you think of Deriva Sailmakers? Let us know in a comment below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, all the latest news in 3D printing straight to your inbox!

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