These brands genuinely manufacture clothing and accessories from Ocean Plastic
It’s hard to understand how much plastic is in the ocean because we can’t see most of it. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum say there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by mid-century. This is a difficult prediction to prove because we cannot count all the fish in the sea. However, we can calculate how much plastic is produced in the world. According to a PlasticsEurope report, that number was around 369 million tonnes in 2017 and 384 million tonnes in 2018. So global production of virgin plastic has been increasing year on year and will likely continue unless we do something about it.
The United Nations Environment Program warns that plastic waste pollution has reached epidemic proportions and is now a major environmental problem of global concern. He estimates that the oceans contain 100 million tonnes of plastic and are growing. This disaster is happening because our economies are linear and, therefore, are not designed to prioritize recovery and reuse. Plastic is consumed so much that most recycling systems are not even equipped to manage the volume.
the Smithsonian estimates that only 9% of plastics are recycled appropriately and that the rest is incinerated, landfilled or ends up in the environment. Land-based waste ends up in storm sewers and sewers, then drains into rivers, streams and canals until it ends up in the ocean, where it directly affects all life around it. . For example, it harms and kills marine life or breaks down into microplastics that end up in our food supply via marine life, mistaking it for food. Additionally, a 2020 study found that plastic pollution increases ocean acidification.
How the fashion industry can help
However, all hope is not lost. If we turn to all the plastic floating in the ocean as a resource and stop renewing it, we could, slowly but surely, start to correct this appalling situation. And many companies have turned to this solution, producing all kinds of great products made from recycled ocean plastics, like bottles and fishing nets. These respectful brands collect and manufacture products from the plastics already present in our environment instead of virgin plastic.
Eighty billion new clothes are consumed worldwide each year, of which 14 million tonnes in the United States alone are thrown away each year. It’s about 80 pounds per person. Eighty-four percent of this clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators, where it decomposes, emits greenhouse gases and releases chemicals into the soil and the atmosphere.
Thank goodness more and more clothing brands are taking the initiative to reduce their environmental impact by producing environmentally friendly fashion! But it also depends on the consumers. The more people buy ethical products, the more companies will turn to the right decision. So, to help you choose the right clothes and accessories, here is a list of some brands that are making a difference for our oceans. Of course, there are plenty more out there, so make it a stepping stone to the kind of products you should look out for when you need something.
Son of the sea
Son of the sea is a new clothing company that manufactures performance clothing from 100% Certified Ocean. Each shirt consists of a pound of ocean plastic!
Dylan Cross, CEO of Sea Threads, believes the ocean plastic crisis tops the list of global issues. He said:
Many environmental issues go hand in hand: global warming, ocean acidification and ocean plastic. I put them all in one group because they are all related to each other and are interconnected. Not to mention that the ocean is the center of all life, so anything that potentially threatens it is a huge deal.
My motto is: there is already so much plastic there; why are we doing more? There is so much we can learn from. It is already a resource; we just have to get it.
Many companies use post-consumer plastic but market it with images of a seagull wrapped in plastic. But then the fine print indicates that this is a post consumer product. This is bogus marketing, in my opinion. Companies sell millions of dollars worth of bracelets or boardshorts, and little research shows it isn’t ocean plastic. Instead, it’s plastic that was already plastic that is moving in the right direction because it has already been recycled. Make no mistake: recycling is great and post-consumer waste is great. It’s what you put in the recycling bin, but it’s not what you see on the beach.
Even though the material is the same, down to the chemical makeup where it comes from makes a big difference.
Sea Threads works with local and government organizations along the Indonesian coast in areas that do not have proper waste management to clean up coasts and seas. 60% of the plastic pollution of the oceans comes from this region. She then uses the plastics she finds to create her products.
Mono Lab manufactures Peta approved waterproof jackets made from approximately 30 recycled plastic bottles each. The brand takes it a step further by including a free repair kit with hardware trims and allowing customers to return an old jacket for a discount on another jacket. This way, they can make sure that the old jackets are recycled.
Fair Harbor is a New York-based company that prides itself on producing original boardshorts, each made from 11 plastic bottles harvested from the ocean. These are swimwear that cleans the sea in which you will wear them!
United by blue
United by blue is another brand of boardshorts that helps clean ocean plastic. He picks up a pound of trash for every item sold. It has already removed more than 1.5 million pounds of waste from the oceans and coasts through organized cleanup initiatives open to all.
Batoko manufactures swimsuits for women from collected marine litter. It has already recycled the equivalent weight of 220,000 plastic bottles. The bold designs are printed onto the fabrics using non-toxic inks. He even packs and delivers orders to customers in compostable bags.
Collective girlfriend is an athleisure company making clothing from recycled materials, including plastic bottles salvaged from the sea. Their original leggings are made from 25 recycled water bottles each, and their latest LITE collection is made from of recycled fishing nets.
Athletic Horizon also makes leg warmers from abandoned fishing nets. It has specially designed ‘compression leggings’ for medium to high impact exercise – they sport a high waist fit so they won’t slip out no matter what you do.
KARUN manufactures sunglasses from salvaged fishing nets and fallen Chilean oak wood. She also uses cotton and leather waste from Patagonia to make the straps for her glasses.
Company B office
Kevin Ahearn and Ben Kneppers founded Company B office in 2013 to discuss positive solutions to the environmental crises facing our oceans. Bureo manufactures its products using retired and abandoned fishing nets salvaged from the Chilean coast.
Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper, the founders of 4Oceans, were on a surf trip to Bali when they saw first-hand fishing boats heading out to sea, crossing a shore so littered with rubbish the water was no longer visible. This sight inspired them to remove as much trash as possible. Two years later, they had assembled a team and removed more than four million pounds of trash from the ocean and its coasts. They use the collected plastic to make bracelets. For each bracelet sold, they commit to removing a pound of plastic from the beautiful environment.
These companies that make a difference are just the tip of the iceberg. More and more pop ups per day. And while they are all doing something wonderful, there is a downside. Polyester microfibers fall into the washer and end up in the ocean due to a lack of filtering devices. Therefore, it is doubtful that creating clothing from recycled plastic waste will ultimately help the environment. Fortunately, there are ways to filter your laundry water from microplastics! PlanetCare has developed special filters designed to catch microfibers that come off clothes during washing and drying.