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Real People. Real Advice.

Sea Styles
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Yankee ingenuity. It's a phrase you may have heard tossed around before, but in Maine, it's a way of life. Take Maine-based companies Sea Bags and Flowfold for example. Both companies wanted to start a business that would marry form and function with a commitment to sustainable practices. Inspired by the durability and beauty of sailcloth, they've found new ways to repurpose it into stylish totes, wallets and accessories that are both practical and beautiful.

You've probably seen a Sea Bags product before. Whether it's been on the arm of someone on the street or in your local J.Crew, Sea Bags got their humble start right here in Portland, Maine. Founded in 1999 by Hannah Kubiak and Beth Shissler, the duo wanted to start a company that would be truly green in product and practice. Every tote they create is handcrafted using a recycled sail. You can see the remnants left by the sea on each piece, making each product they create truly unique. The line has since expanded to pillows, wine totes and limited edition runs with brands like Sperry Topsider and Woolrich. The best part? Everything is made right here in Maine and sourced in the USA.

Out on Peaks Island, a 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of Portland, is a small team sewing wallets and iPad cases. Chuck Friedman, founder of Flowfold, decided to construct his grandfather a wallet from scrap pieces of sailcloth to replace his longtime leather staple that had since fallen apart. He found the ideal material for a wallet that was lightweight, durable and could even stay afloat if it accidentally fell overboard. After that first prototype and many thereafter, Flowfold was born and has since salvaged over 130 pounds of sailcloth that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill.

As the saying in Maine goes, one man's sail is another man's treasure.

Curator of Style

Laura Serino

As founder of the popular blog forefrontfashion.com, Laura actively seeks out Maine's distinct street style and fashion sense. With a penchant for people watching, she documents the individuality, local shops and interesting finds that reveal the essence of Maine through fashion. With a focus on all things "Made in Maine", count on her to assemble an ensemble of great shopping, dining and city life.

Editor's Notes:

Sea Bags original factory store is located in Portland, and there is a store in Freeport as well. Flowfold is on Peaks Island. These companies represent Maine's work ethic and innovative ways. Visit the stores to pick up one-of-a-kind pieces you'll feel good about owning. For more Maine inspired designers, click here.

Peaks Island: Only 3 miles via ferry from downtown Portland, Peaks Island has always been very popular with tourists and the locals. With quaint hotels, shops, and restaurants, the island is a retreat for its visitors. There are many outdoor activities that are enjoyed on these 762 acres of land such as walking, biking and kayaking. To gain insight and understanding about Peaks Island, visit the 5th Maine Museum that documents the island's rich history. The island is also home to the sole Umbrella Cover Museum which holds the Guinness World Record for the most umbrella covers.