Marine News from the Great Lakes

Sea Bags Anchors Down In The Great Lakes, Opens Four Retail Stores In Michigan

East coast-based Sea Bags selects retail locations in waterfront communities

Published: Monday, March 9, 2020

Sea Bags, the Maine-based designer and manufacturer of stylish and durable bags, totes and accessories handmade from recycled sails, is excited to announce that it is expanding to the Great Lakes region and opening four new stores in Michigan between March and April. All stores will carry Sea Bags’ unique designs and seasonal collections, including totes and home accessories.

“This is a very exciting time for Sea Bags as our footprint extends to the Great Lakes region for the first time,” said Don Oakes, CEO of Sea Bags. “The appealing waterfront locations and the passion for sailing that this region caters to clearly aligns with our brand and our values. We look forward to connecting with these communities and creating new jobs, all the while standing firm to Sea Bags’ commitment to making products in the U.S.”

This spring, Sea Bags will open retail stores in Traverse City, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, and Saugatuck. Traverse City will be the first of the four Michigan retail stores to open with the grand opening date set for March 6.

“As traditional retail stores have struggled, Sea Bags has redefined the power of brick and mortar through its unique in-store experience,” continued Oakes. “To be able to walk into our stores and touch, feel, and customize products based on personal interest as well as the opportunity to trade an old sail for a product in exchange is unlike any other.”

The Sea Bags Sail Trade Program allows people to donate old or unused sails, and for every usable sail, Sea Bags offers customers a Sea Bags product in trade. Sea Bags will arrange to pick up the sail, or it can be dropped off at any of the brands’ growing number of retail stores. Sea Bags has reclaimed over 700 tons of sail cloth material since the program started in 2017, and the company took in 8,800 sails in 2019 alone.

The locations and opening dates are as follows:
  • Sea Bags in Traverse City opened Friday, March 6 at 223 East Front Street
  • Sea Bags in Charlevoix will open Friday, March 27 at 325 Bridge Street
  • Sea Bags in Harbor Springs will open Friday, March 27 at 160 East Main Street
  • Sea Bags in Saugatuck will open Friday, April 3 at 229 Butler Street

The Sea Bags in Traverse City will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the Sea Bags in Charlevoix will be, at first, only open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then open daily in early summer; the Sea Bags in Harbor Springs will be open on weekends from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. then open daily in early summer; the Sea Bags in Saugatuck will be open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until early summer.

Sea Bags will also open new retail locations in California, South Carolina, and Massachusetts this spring. Sea Bags was founded on the mission of creating and keeping jobs in the U.S. as well as saving sails from landfills. Today, Sea Bags has built a sourcing policy where raw materials are sourced locally first and always in the U.S. For more information on Sea Bags, visit

About Sea Bags

Incorporated in 2006, Sea Bags started by making fun, functional, and stylish totes from reclaimed sail cloth in the historic Old Port district of Portland, Maine. Today, the company employs nearly 175 people, all dedicated to the mission of saving sails from landfills while creating a diverse line of totes, bags, and home goods that feature material from sails that were once actively used. The extensive use of reclaimed sailcloth is unique to Sea Bags. Signs of hard sailing can be seen in every Sea Bags creation, making them as individual and unique as their owner. The Sea Bags flagship retail store, as well as the manufacturing headquarters, is located at 25 Custom Wharf House in Portland, Maine’s working waterfront—where you can see the bags being made firsthand. Company-owned retail stores are located in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, and California. To learn more about Sea Bags and the stories their sails tell, visit

This article first appeared in the Spring Issue (Mar/Apr) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Environmental Impact, Gift Ideas, Sailing, Clothing & Shoes, Company Expansions

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