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What happens to a kite after we’re done with it? When it’s deemed no longer usable and starts to become unsafe? In most cases, the kite sits in the dusty corner of a garage for a few months – years – until finally, in the midst of a spring cleaning, it’s sentenced to eternity at a landfill.
Though kitesurfers are often proud of loving an environmentally-friendly sport, we rely solely on wind after all, the gear we use is anything but sustainable. Neoprene, plastic, and nylon, the three main materials that make up the bulk of our kitesurfing gear are dirty to produce and difficult (if impossible) to recycle.
Enter Lydiane, a marine botanist, windsurfer, seamstress, and creator of Coup D’vent, a brand that brings new life into old kites. Created by hand in her house, she spends countless hours washing, drying, cutting, and sewing old kites into one-of-a-kind objects. No two pieces are alike. From purses to pillows to pinwheels to neoprene shark keychains, her creativity of what can be made with kite and windsurf material knows no bounds.
Considering that many of the items created at the Coup D’vent workshop are necessities, it’s upcycling at its finest.
I discovered her brand while browsing through the Summer X Salt Market, Perth’s best surf and eco-themed market that’s about to take place over the next few months. Flashes of neon green, oranges, and blues filled her stall. Since kite material is made to withstand harsh elements of blowing wind and hard crashes on water, every bag, wallet, and tote felt lightweight yet sturdy.
A few minutes later, I saw my roommate, a kitesurfer, walking around with a new Coup D’vent purse. She’s not a shopaholic, so there’s got to be something special about these bags for her to buy one.
This brand is really onto something.
I invited myself over to Lydiane’s house for a behind the scenes visit of the Coup D’vent workshop. Piles of kites stuffed inside of kitebags covered an entire wall in her living room. Kites yet to be created into something new were piled on one side, finished products on the other.
Like most action sports athletes, the pursuit of wind and waves drove Lydiane around the world. The logo and concept was first created in New Caledonia, designs solidified in South Africa, and now the product is crafted and sold in Perth, Western Australia.
After seeing Lydiane’s stall, kitesurfers and windsurfers donated their no-longer-safe kites to her by the dozens. Now, she has so much material, it’d take weeks of nonstop work to process it all. Recently, after a trip to Bali, New Caledonia, and France, Lydiane’s finally had time to craft tons of new items just in time for summer.
I checked the prices of most of her items. Everything was super inexpensive. I thought of similar items, mass produced overseas out of unsustainable materials and shook my head, “You need to charge more!”
Obviously, this is a project of passion rather than profit.
The name Coup D’vent, meaning gust of wind in French, is fitting. Isn’t that what she’s doing? Breathing air into lifeless things that we no longer want.