Earth Day at 50 SeriesGreen Sports Pod

Episode 3: Melissa Kalicin, Founder of Green-Sports Startup Oceanum Vela


Wednesday’s Earth Week at 50 series opener looked back to the beginnings of Earth Day — and the sports connections to it — in our interview with Tia Nelson, daughter of Earth Day founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.

In today’s installment, we shift our gaze forward with our GreenSportsPod interview with Melissa Kalicin, founder of Oceanum Vela, a startup that saves soon-to-be-discarded sails from elite racing boats (think Ocean Race or America’s Cup) from the landfill and upcycles them into duffels, handbags and much more.

The Oceanum Vela story is but one example of a dynamic Green-Sports startup ecosystem that will help change the sports world for the better — and for the greener — once sports comes back from its COVID-19 pandemic hiatus. And Kalicin’s compelling personal journey — from environmental engineer to “sailboat liveaboard” to open ocean sailor to eco-preneur and more — adds a dash of adventure and fun to the interview. Enjoy!




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Melissa Kalicin (Photo credit: Martina Orsini)


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Acedia, Melissa Kalicin's sailboat...and home, in the waters off of Antigua (Photo credit: Melissa Kalicin)


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Phaedo, object of Melissa Kalicin's affections (Photo credit: Melissa Kalicin)


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Oceanum Vela bags made from sails from the Ericsson 3 boat that competed in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race (Photo credit: Melissa Kalicin)


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The label on each Oceanum Vela product details its provenance (Photo credit: Jean-Martin Grisar)


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