Barbie Lynch is the owner of Breakwater Blue, a Hingham-based retail company that specializes in environmentally friendly clothing and accessories.
“Conservation has always been important to me, especially because I grew up surrounded by the ocean,” says Lynch. Her signature products are handmade, recycled sail bags. For a custom look, each bag features a nautical design that can be personalized with logos, monograms or colored trims and handles.
Most people would never know that discarded boat sails can take up to 1,000 years to deteriorate in a landfill. This is because the sails are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and are made from a combination of materials, including canvas or polyester fibers.
“The same qualities that make the fabric detrimental to the environment also make it a perfect material for a sturdy, long-lasting bag,” says Lynch.
Breakwater Blue recently expanded its product line, adding eco-friendly clothing and upcycled home accessories, such as light switch plates. Lynch partnered with local contractors to collect old switch plates and polishes them up, adding custom nautical designs and hardware.
Keeping with Breakwater Blue’s environmentally sustainable mission, Lynch also organizes beach cleanups that get everyone involved in helping their communities. She also likes being able to teach her daughters the value of hard work. “I love being able to share this experience with them and empower them to follow their own passions,” says Lynch. “If selling one bag keeps one sail out of a landfill, then I feel like I’m helping to make the world a more eco-friendly place.”