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- There are all sorts of brands using recycled ocean plastics like derelict fishing nets and plastic water bottles to make cool and useful products.
- Below is a roundup of our favorite brands making some of our favorite products out of what are decidedly some of our least favorite things — plastics that pollute our oceans.
- You’ll find jackets from Patagonia, hand soap from Method, leggings from Girlfriend Collective, and more.
- An honorable mention goes to Rothy’s, which makes its women’s work flats out of recycled plastic water bottles before they make it into our oceans.
From sunglasses to skateboard wheels, the array of products being made from recycled ocean plastics is growing so rapidly it’s dizzying.
No, really: Since I began putting this article together the other day, at least three such products have landed on my desk, and my inbox has probably seen twice as many emails alerting me to this brand or that now using recycled ocean plastics in some way.
If you’re having trouble figuring out which brands to support in these endeavors, the short answer is: all of them. (Unless they’re selling absolute junk that’ll likely end up back in the ocean anyway, or shamelessly hawking snake oil.)
It’s impossible to fathom how much plastic is really in the ocean. Though the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum make claims suggesting that by 2050 there may be more plastic than fish in the sea, we can’t exactly count all the fish in the sea. What we can roughly gather is how much plastic we continue to produce, which, according to a report by PlasticsEurope, totaled about 384 million tons in 2018 alone (up from about 369 million tons in 2017).
The good news is that, with all that plastic afloat in the ocean, we can probably stop making the stuff, especially thanks to companies like Bureo (in conjunction with Costa Del Mar sunglasses) and BIONIC Yarn. These stewardly brands, along with many others below, are working to collect and manufacture products from the mounting number of plastics already in our waterways, rather than make more, which we think is not only more sustainable but, simply put, smart.
Yes, we at Insider Picks are also mesmerized and bewildered by the sea of these recycled products, and I, personally, have spent too many hours to count sifting through them to deliver you all of the best in reclaimed ocean plastics, but here’s a short list for starters, and you can be sure to see it grow to a lengthy one in the not-so-distant future.
Read on for a list of nine brands making great products with recycled ocean plastics.
Shop Patagonia’s Stretch Rainshadow Jackets, made with ECONYL®, available at Patagonia, starting at $119
It’s hard not to start this list with Patagonia. It was the first outdoors retail brand to start manufacturing fleece with recycled plastic bottles in 1993, and they’ve continued to be a leader of the movement throughout the decades since.
Lately, the brand has been experimenting with using discarded fishing nets in their products, and is currently making the new Stretch Rainshadow Jackets using Econyl, 100% recycled nylon yarns which include, at least in part, discarded fishing nets. Going forward, as always, you can be sure to see more of this from Patagonia.
Patagonia also contributes to 1% for the Planet.
B Corporation Bureo was founded by Ben Kneppers and Kevin Ahearn in 2013 to elicit positive solutions to the environmental crises our oceans face.
Using derelict and retired fishing nets recovered from the Chilean coast, Bureo makes everything from sunglasses (in partnership with Costa) to skateboards and hand planes for surfing. I’ve been wearing their sunglasses fishing for the past six months and not only do they make me look pretty(ish), they seem almost indestructible (editor’s note: Owen needs indestructible). Fitted with high-tech Costa lenses, they’re a handy item on and off the water.
Andrew Cooper and Alex Shulze were on a surf trip in Bali when they witnessed fishermen launching their vessels into what resembled trash more than sea. Fast-forward about two years and the duo has built a team, branded as 4ocean, that has removed over four million pounds of trash from the ocean and its coastlines.
The company makes bracelets out of the trash they collect, and for each sale, they pledge to pull one pound of plastic from our oceans and coastlines. They also make plastic-free reusable water bottles, for which it makes the same pledge.
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