As of now, there is enough ocean plastic to circle the Earth over 400 times – this needs change. Many brands have made the conscious decision to take this change upon themselves and upcycle waste from their collections, as well as using their platforms to educate its customers.
Here is a collection of brands that are striving for the change we all desperately need.
H&M, a well known high street brand, have always provided something for everyone, and this does not stop in their sustainable collections. They have a whole collection called the ‘Conscious Collection’ which is made up of recyclable products. In 2017, this collection paid close attention to the ocean and the waste it collects, and decided to make something of it.
It was completely made up from a material that is commonly used today, called BIONIC®. Made up of from ocean plastic waste, BIONIC® was material collected from shorelines across the world. By using this method, the amount of waste on the beaches will be significantly reduced and put to a greater good.
This collection involved the help of model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, who was the face of the campaign, to draw more customers in. She modeled the collection and reflected its versatile range of garments and accessories, highlighting its ability to be dressed both up and down. This goes on to encourage customers to reuse their garments and accessories beyond one wear, or one use. This means there is less waste, and more importantly less pollution in the ocean.
One brand who is open about the effects of the fashion industry on our planet and oceans is Stella McCartney. With an ethos of ‘anti-cruelty and leather free’, it was only a matter of time before the preservation of the oceans appeared on their radar.
In 2017, at Paris Fashion Week, Stella McCartney debuted ‘skin free shoes’, which were essentially shoe socks, made from newly developed fabric and materials, which included recycled bottles from the oceans. But it did not stop with shoes, McCartney also developed leather bomber jackets and suede skirts made from similar materials, to show the versatility of items that it was possible to create.
The company even went further, to partner with Parley AIR strategy to design and create more sustainable items to protect our oceans. Together, they made two luxury items – a pair of shoes and a backpack. The adidas by Stella McCartney Parley UltraBoost X Shoe features the use of Parley Ocean Plastic- a performance yarn that is created by recycled ocean plastics. Whereas the ‘Ocean Legend’ limited edition Falabella Go Backpack, is made from the same Parley Ocean Plastic, as well as upcycled marine plastic debris. The backpack was made in honour of Captain Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977 for the work he did to save our oceans.
Not only does Stella McCartney produce sustainable, luxury fashion, they also work as a company to educate their customers in how the product has been made, and to raise awareness of our oceans.
Starting off as a small business on Instagram, Reformation has transformed the fashion market in terms of sustainability. In 2017, they launched a collection of swimwear. Their swimming costumes were created using econyl, a nylon fibre formed from old fishing nets from the oceans.
Following the companies ethos of ‘sustainable and ethical practices’, the brand has grown massively in popularity and inclusivity. The company now produces collections spanning from everyday fashion to even wedding dresses, as a conscious decision to change the way we as consumers shop.
Alongside the variety of collections, the brand has a dedicated part of their website focusing on how we can help the environment and on what they do as a company to preserve the planet. This works as an educational tool for customers who want to learn more about supporting the oceans and the planet.
The thing that makes Reformation stand out against other brands is their awareness of the amount of water they use to make their pieces. From this, they pledge that their items from 2015 have been 100% water neutral. Working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, they have been able to neutralize their water footprint, restoring over 370 million gallons of water back into oceans.
In shopping for eye wear, it can be difficult to find sustainable alternatives that help the ocean. Coral Eyewear is a company that has preserving our oceans at the forefront of their agenda. Their glasses are made from ocean waste, using ECONYL® like other brands, made from regenerated ocean fishing nets.
Alongside this, their website is full of information on the story of how they make their glasses so sustainable, as well as a section for blogs. These include their partnership with Formula 1 drivers, to make the sport better for our oceans and our planet.
Although it may seem like a small gesture from these brands to change the way their products are made, or to feature educational information on their websites, they are all doing a part to protect of our oceans. This is something we can all do better at, and here is your invitation to start.