Photo by Angela Compagnone on Unsplash
Support Brands Repurposing Ocean Plastics
Ocean plastics are a huge problem. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an estimated eight-million-tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. Plastic debris threatens the health of the ocean, food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change. To say nothing of the harm plastic does to marine species from ingesting it or becoming entangled in it, which can lead to severe injuries and death.
The scale of the problem is massive. We can all do our part by limiting our use of single-use plastic. We can also vote with our money by supporting brands that are helping to find a solution by reusing ocean plastics in new products. As the sham of plastic recycling has become more and more apparent, it’s now understood that one of the most effective actions available is through reusing ocean plastics to reduce the environmental impacts and begin to close the loop. The good news is that there’s a lot of innovation in materials created using ocean plastics.
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash
Ocean plastics are being collected and repurposed into yarns and other source materials under brand names including Econyl Yarn, Seaqual® Yarn, Bionic Yarn, Bureo Netplus and Ocean Plastic® by Parley.
The tide is ever so slowly turning as these materials made from intercepted and upcycled marine plastic debris are being manufactured into new offerings including outerwear, clothing, and shoes. As always your best option for sustainability is to buy used gear, but if you are in the market for new gear here are some of the early-adopter outdoor brands to support.
Patagonia has already made progress in minimizing its use of virgin (new) plastics, the brand is on track for 69-percent of all Patagonia materials to be derived from recycled materials. Patagonia is also incorporating Econyl,100% recycled nylon yarns (which includes discarded fishing nets), into new outerwear offerings like the Stretch Rainshadow Jackets.
Patagonia, through its Tin Shed Ventures fund, is invested in Bureo®, a company which collects discarded fishing nets and recycles them into NetPlus™ material. Initially, Patagonia is integrating this material into hat brims. Look for Patagonia to find more ways to incorporate Bureo materials into its hardgoods and textiles.
adidas has made virgin plastic reduction a major goal, the brand is aiming to eliminate its use of virgin polyester, and to replace it with 100% recycled polyester for every product and in every application by 2024. To this end, adidas is offering clothing and shoes made with Parley for the Oceans recycled ocean plastics. These eco-friendly items include a full range of athletic wear—jackets, tops and shorts, as well as running and hiking shoes, including its iconic Stan Smith shoes. Look for the Parley name or Primeblue.
Kelly Slater’s Outerknown clothing lines utilize 90% sourced organic, recycled, or regenerated fibers, with all of the swim trunks manufactured with 100% recycled or renewable fabrics. The Evolution line, which includes swimwear and jackets, is made with Econyl, a regenerated nylon reusing recovered fishing nets and other ocean plastics. Outerknown is also incorporating Bureo Netplus recycled fishing net material into its hat brims.
Costa’s The Untangled Collection sunglass frames are manufactured using pellets manufactured from Bureo Netplus.
Annie Fast writes about winter sports and outdoor adventures from her home in Bend, Oregon.You can read more about her and her work at anniefast.com
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