When co-owners David Marchand and Lena Rossello created Saltee Rags Crew Apparel in 2017, they wasted no time becoming a resource for crew. As former crew themselves — Marchand was a chef and Rossello was a stew — they take their products and services very seriously because it’s of the utmost importance to provide the best for fellow crew.
“All Saltee Rags employees are previous yacht crew, so it’s in our blood to provide a high level of service, not just to the yacht owners but to crew and captains as well,” Marchand says. Marchand, who worked on boats for almost eight years as a full-time chef, is passionate about the industry. “Forty-two boats later, I’d consider myself a yachtie for life.”
And as for the name? Saltee Rags is so called because they sell a lot of tees, plus, “it was an original way to spell it and easy to find on Google,” says Marchand.
After several months of renovating their 1,700-square-foot showroom, it’s now open to captains and stews — it also functions as a stew lounge and a set of offices. Their other 48,000-square-foot factory location is by appointment only, as it is strictly for manufacturing (they do all their screen printing, embroidery, etc. there). Their handmade bedsheets, linens, and towels are all private-label.
Saltee Rags is in the final stages of earning Supima cotton certification — only one percent of the farmed cotton in the world gets this distinction. “What makes Supima unique to other cottons is the extra-long staple fiber that gives the cotton its premium properties: strength, softness, and color retention,” Marchand says. The process can take two years, as it involves the entire production chain from U.S. cotton farmers and harvestors, up through Italian factories that weave the cotton, until it finally makes its way back to the factory that uses the cotton to produce the finished goods.
Because their environmental footprint is a high priority, Saltee Rags is green at the factory level. “Nothing actually touches the earth.” They only use Dawn soap to clean their screens and films. Even the soap and water are re-circulated.
They recently introduced Ella Yachtwear after a year spent sourcing and designing eco-conscious apparel: shorts, skorts, evening dresses, and tops that all match. “It is important to us that everything is USA-sourced and manufactured,” he says. They conducted extensive research learning what the stews are comfortable in, what’s practical, and what looks great. The full range is available in the showroom.
You can also check out their “Earth Love” section on the Saltee Rags website, which is dedicated to their eco-friendly products, including organic cottons, hemp, 100 percent recycled shirts that were once water bottles and used coffee grinds, and all kinds of earth friendly products.
Last July, Marchand and Rossello also bought Antibes Yachtwear, which had already been serving the yachting community for more than 25 years. They’re slowly implementing the Saltee Rags product standard to the business, as well as introducing a wider range of products to superyacht clients. (It now offers bedding, towels, and swag alongside its extensive uniform options.) “The two companies have not merged but are working alongside each other very well,” he says.
The company hosts a monthly networking event where they partner with different companies that specialize in mixology, kosher dining, floral design and arrangements, table setting and décor, advancing your career, etc. Basically, Marchand says, “All different aspects to empower the stews and have them advance their career.”
Moonlight Yoga is complimentary from Monday to Friday at 8 p.m. to all stews in town. Visit them at: 1300 SW 1st Ave, Fort Lauderdale, 33315.
For more related content:
An Uncensored Approach to Being a Stewardess
Crew with a Cause: The Green Stewardess
Crew Created: The Stewardess Corner