While it all started with a sail, we partner with boating and sailing organizations to up-cycle sailboat sails, marine canvas, upholstery material, and any durable outdoor fabric that still has life. We began with an industrial sewing machine and a desire to use business as an avenue for good. Dunsel’s started as a fundraising effort for the Florida State University Sailing club. After finding success with the tote bag, the company added three more products to address the small fabric waste they were collecting. Currently based in Tallahassee, FL.
We travel all around the U.S. to stop any outdoor fabric from ending up in landfills. To reduce our carbon footprint, we move fabric around via a ride share with anyone already heading to Tallahassee. After cleaning and cutting the fabric, we pair sailboat sails with upcycled marine canvas and upholstery liners to give our product the ability to be long-lasting and water-resistant. We still sew our fanny packs in-house, but the tote, dopp, and duffel are made by sewing contractors in Florida. We visit the facilities to ensure ethical labor practices and fair wages are paid by our manufacturing partners. Dunsel’s is not currently in many retail locations because it allows us keep our prices low. You can meet us at local maker markets or contact us on our website!
What is a sustainable business? It is a business actively trying to not cause unnecessary environmental harm while conducting business. At Dunsel’s, sustainability looks like using 85% up-cycled materials paired with high-quality ethically made raw materials that we utilize to increase the lifetime of our products. While we still use virgin materials, it is primarily in the straps and zippers because the bag is unusable if those fail. A sustainable product has to have a long life to spread the impact of the virgin materials but also the footprint of the manufacturing process. We are constantly searching for more sustainable options in our virgin materials.
Thoughts from our founder
For the last three years, we have been building a unique view of what businesses can do to help the world. When I started Dunsel's, I had no clue how to sew, which led me to buy an industrial sewing machine and learn how to make bags. I sell bags to fuel the fire we have created to take more and more waste and stop it from entering the landfill. I never thought that three years later, I would have a master's degree in product development from Florida State University because of my interest in designing and manufacturing environmentally sustainable products. There are unique challenges to building a sustainable product because every step of the process has to be consciously thought out to eliminate any unnecessary harmful emissions. I wake up every day ready to take on these unique challenges because I know we are making a difference in the world.