JASPER EALES, AFTER SURVIVING A LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS, WAS INSPIRED TO CREATE INTERPRETATIVE DESIGN SOLUTIONS USING RECYCLED MATERIALS

We meet Jasper Eales, the inspiring co-owner of Sealand Gear who is creating incredible designs using recycled materials.

Growing up in the picturesque Cape Town enclave of Llandudno – a third-generation Llandudnian, in fact – with a father who was a very active and involved lifesaver, Jasper Eales’s career was destined to be interwoven with the sea. 

“Through my fathers involvement with lifesaving I got involved as a nipper, which is junior lifesaving. At the age of 12 I then moved over and transitioned from a body board to surf board, and was hooked from then on. Now, a lot of decisions that I make in my life are with surfing in mind,” shares the entrepreneur who has a passion for life and making the world a better place. 

As a young kid in early phase highschool, from the age of around 14, for over a year I was in and out of hospital and then finally was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – a colon disorder and Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) – which is essentially a liver disorder. 

Jasper was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in his childhood, and from then has been on medication to manage it. However, in his late 20s he was told that he needed to have a liver transplant. 

“I waited 10 months and then eventually found a perfect match donor and then went through and had a successful liver transplant. I got a second chance at life so have strived to be the best patient, and today I believe that I am. I still take my medication, I can’t do certain things, I need to be careful in certain ways but to have a liver transplant or whatever transplant it is, is to improve your quality of life, not to go backwards,” says Jasper.  

One of this incredible human beings ventures is Sealand, which Jasper is the co-owner and creative director of.  

Started in 2015, it’s a responsible business that’s based on the pillars of people and planet. “We refer to responsibility rather than sustainability,” says Jasper before adding “From an environmentally responsible stand point its taking waste material and creating new value.”

He shares that the primary revenue driver in the business is designing, manufacturing and retailing bags and accessories that are made from waste material. “We have a strategic partnership with a company that produces a large majority of these banners – once the banner has done its job and marketed a campaign it becomes redundant. We are a waste management solution for this company. They donate it to us, we upcycle it and put it into the bag.”

All their handmade, upcycled eco-outdoor bags are manufactured from these advertising banners, along with a range of other materials, and include a stamp with the machinists’ names inside the bag to give power to the individual who made the product. 

It’s inspiring to hear Jasper’s story of living life to the fullest, while being mindful of the world around him. 

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