Project Kite


Ever wondered what they do with old kite surfs? No? Well Richard Steel did when he was strolling along a Kenyan beach one day despairing at the rubbish being washed up by the tide and spoiling what was otherwise a postcard perfect scene while at the same time admiring the grace and beauty of the kite surfers out at sea. In that instant Richard came up with the idea of recycling old kites into funky accessories and donating part of the sales to marine conservation projects. Hence Project Kite was born.

Since that day Richard has devoted his time and energies into designing and manufacturing a range of bags, flip flops, wallets and other beach accessories made from pre-loved kites donated by the local kite surfing community in Kenya, with whom he has close links.

As it turns out the kites are the perfect material for beach/outdoor accessories being waterproof and colourful, with all sorts of attractive and attention-grabbing designs. By definition each product is unique and the owner can be assured that their item is a one-off design. The concept has not only proved a boon to Richard but also to local marine conservation projects in Kenya, including the protection of whale sharks and sea turtles.

The success of the project has brought a new dilemma, as the supply of old kites in Kenya has now been virtually exhausted. Richards’ attentions are therefore turning further afield to other kite-surfing communities around the world. Project Kite is now in the process of establishing a worldwide network of dropping zones where surfers can donate their old kites and from where they will be shipped to Kenya to be turned into beautiful and practical beach accessories. In return the donor will not only have the satisfaction of knowing they are supporting marine conservation but will also receive a unique souvenir item from the range together with a Project Kite certificate. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of every item will be directed towards marine conservation projects in the country of origin. In this way each territory from where the kites are donated will benefit directly from the project.

An added benefit of the project is that it provides much needed employment for the men and women of a small community in Mombasa who lovingly craft the unique products by hand, and who, like all of us, have a vested interest in conserving the marine environment.

Project Kite will be officially launching its product line at the prosurf Extreme charity kite event in Nyali Mombassa on the 25th – 27th January 2010.  For further information please direct enquiries to [email protected]