About eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans each year. At this rate, there will be more plastic in there than fish by 2050. That’s a lot of material doing more harm than good. Well, the good news is, there are brands taking initiative and creating products to help minimise plastic waste in our oceans.
Co-founders Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper launched 4Ocean in 2017 after engaging with coastal communities in Bali, Indonesia about the severity of the ocean plastic crisis. The company developed as they decided to support the livelihoods of local fishermen by hiring them as full-time ocean clean up crews.
To fund the large scale effort, the collected rubbish is used to make bracelets and other merchandise including t-shirts and bamboo cutlery. By purchasing a 4Ocean bracelet, you’re directly funding the removal of one pound of rubbish from the oceans and coastlines.
This premium sunglasses brand was established in 2016 to create a product to raise awareness about ocean plastic waste and the unsustainable fashion industry. The sunglasses are created using recycled plastic waste, abandoned fish nets and ropes collected by fishermen in Spain, France and West Africa. SEA2SEE are also committed to providing the entire community of fishermen with free eyewear every year.
“It’s more than a product, it’s a statement.” François van den Abeele – SEA2SEE Founder & CEO
Based in North West England, this independent swimwear brand has been striving to raise awareness for plastic pollution since it was established in 2017. Products are made from 100% upcycled plastic waste originally headed for landfill or our oceans.
This not only helps reduce the consumption of new raw materials but also helps reduce energy usage and water pollution from landfills and marine waste. Batoko also works with the likes of Marine Conservation Society UK and The Ocean Project (the team behind Word Oceans Day) to donate yearly profits.
United By Blue prioritise creating products made to last – because the best way to be a conscious consumer is to consume less. Since beginning in 2010, they have removed over three million pounds of rubbish from the ocean through volunteers.
The collected materials are created into a wide variety of outdoor apparel and accessories from duffel bags to reusable coffee cups. Much like 4Oceans, every product sold by United By Blue removes one pound of rubbish from the oceans and waterways.
Last but certainly not least is Rothy’s, a San Francisco based company repurposing plastic waste into shoes and bags. Since its founding in 2012, they have transformed nearly 100 million single-use plastic water bottles into durable knitted products. Rothy’s are committed to a zero waste future.
They currently have a goal of creating a closed-loop production model by 2023. Essentially meaning they’ll recycle their old products into something new.
So, how can we help?
So, next time you’re thinking about making a new purchase, consider supporting these innovative brands. Every contribution is a conscious step towards reducing current oceanic plastic waste.
But more importantly, it’s not going to add to it.