Sustainability is the word on everybody’s lips, and it’s for a good reason. It’s now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our ocean, and if you’re as disgusted as I am, it gets worse. At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion, and scientists have identified 200 ocean areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life can now grow due to the sheer amount of pollution. At a time when sustainability is so vital to our planet, five brands have stepped up to the challenge on how we can reduce and improve the plastic problems facing our oceans.
1. Spark & Burnish
What looks to be beautifully constructed cabinet handles made of marble are actually made of recycled ocean plastic. Australian homewares brand Spark & Burnish collaborated with the Sydney-based Vert Design Studio to create their very own ‘Ocean Plastic Knob’. The plastics are collected from the ocean, broken down into pellets and are then moulded into their signature handle shape. The cabinet handles can be used from handles all the way to wall hooks. The versatile design sits beautifully within any environment, and yes, Spark & Burnish do give back to the environment. A portion of each sale is given to the Sea Shepherd for collecting ocean plastics, with the rest of any profits heading over to the wonderful folks at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, who work tirelessly to protect Australia’s most beautiful oceanic icon.
An estimated 7 billion kilograms of plastic enters our oceans each year. 4Ocean are on a mission to stop this from happening. After the 4Ocean founders were gobsmacked by the amount of plastic infiltrating the beaches and communities in Bali, they thought of a groundbreaking idea. How can ocean plastic turn into a job for locals and a cause to clean up our oceans? This is how the 4Ocean bracelet was born. Each bracelet is handcrafted from recycled plastics, and a bracelet purchase goes straight into funding the removal of plastic from our oceans. In less than two years, the 4Ocean team have removed over 1,119,620 pounds of rubbish from the ocean and its coastlines. The team also have a monthly bracelet which is sold to raise funds for a specific ocean cause, like overfishing or damaged coral reefs. It’s an outstanding effort which stemmed from just a small idea.
3. Adidas x Parley
Global brand Adidas have teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, an advocate for ocean protection and clean ups, to create an incredible line of footwear and athletic-wear made out of ocean plastics and recycled materials. The sleek looking footwear is made from a mix of yarn and features Parley Ocean Plastic which is created from recycled waste, intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean. Other items, like running shorts and tank tops feature recycled polyester to save resources and decrease emissions, as well as ocean plastic threaded throughout yarn. It’s been a pretty successful project so far, with Adidas even going as far to create football jerseys made of ocean plastics. This taps into a whole new global sporting audience, most of whom would be very interested in purchasing a sustainable jersey for a good cause.
4. Seabin Project
Two avid Aussie surfers quit their jobs to start something great. The Seabin Project was created to find an eco-friendly way of cleaning up ocean plastics without using boats or fuel in the process. Instead, the founders created a Seabin. It works by sucking the ocean’s surface water into a catch bag through a submersible water pump. The catch bag holds onto any plastics or rubbish, and the clean water is then filtered back into the ocean. The Seabin simply needs to be collected and emptied, and it’s ready to keep on going! One single Seabin can catch up to 1.5kg of floating debris per day, which equates to around half a tonne of debris caught in one year alone. Seabins can be purchased and placed in catchment areas including marinas, bays and other places facing a problem with ocean litter.
This cute little swimwear company from North-West England is making some serious waves (pun intended). As a coastal based label, the team witnessed first-hand the devastating effect plastic pollution had on their local beaches. Batoko reports that of the 300 million tons of plastic that is produced globally each year, less than 10% of this figure is recycled. So, Batoko started small and created one of the world’s first recycled swimwear lines. Their cute one pieces are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles and post-consumer waste, such as carpets and other textiles. All dyes and inks are produced digitally, free from any harmful chemicals, and all fabrics are completely vegan. Each year, the Batoko team give back by donating proceeds to the UK’s leading marine charity – the Marine Conservation Society. There’s nothing more fashionable than looking good and knowing the environment is feeling all the better for it!