Not only does the ocean produce over half of the world’s oxygen, regulate our climate, and absorb fifty times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere, but is also a source of great beauty and awe. The ocean is a big part of what makes the world inhabitable and as beautiful as it is, and we are destroying it through the overproduction of clothing.
Over a third (35%) of all microplastics released into the world’s oceans are from synthetic textiles and between half million and a million tons of plastic microfibres are discharged into wastewater each year from the washing of synthetic clothes. Because of this, it is important for us, as consumers, to make conscientious decisions when it comes to what clothing we buy, and where we buy it from.
In recent years, we have seen an emergence of sustainable clothing brands due to the growth in demand. One of the most innovative ways of creating ethical clothing and accessories, is through the recycling of ocean waste to make fashion pieces.
Paper London has created a sustainable swimwear line that uses ‘ECONYL’, a regenerated Nylon fibre that is made from recycled fishing nets and other waste products found in the ocean. Not only is the swimwear sustainable but comes in bright colours and unique patterning that absolutely stand out amongst the samey fast-fashion swimwear pieces that populate every beach and swimming pool. The website also has a feature where buyers can choose their body type and find the most flattering fit. Paper London is unique and personal to the buyer whilst remaining ethical, making it 100% worth the money.
Parley Ocean Plastic is created from upcycled marine plastic waste gathered from beaches and coastal areas. This plastic is used in place of virgin plastic when creating adidas sportswear. Parley aim to use 100% recycled polyester in their products by the year 2024. Parley’s collaboration with adidas incorporates the value of sustainability, whilst remaining fashionable and workout-friendly. An iconic brand that you can now wear with a clean conscience.
Girlfriend Collective are a cutting-edge clothing brand that are ‘the Earth’s number one fan’. Their LITE leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other ocean waste such as plastic bottles. What is so refreshing about this brand is their transparency, they give all of the facts on their website as well as expressing their core values. The clothing itself is sleek and colourful and comes in a wide range of sizes which are displayed on the diverse range of models on the site. Girlfriend Collective is both ethical and inclusive, a model brand going forward.
4. Norton Point
Norton Point are a sunglasses brand based in Los Angeles that create their glasses from ocean plastic. They also reinvest 5% of net profits back into research, education, and development efforts towards halting the impact of plastics in the ocean. They have several different styles of glasses with a choice of lens colours. Norton Point also pride themselves on their products being long-lasting, proving the glasses to be worth the investment. It is possible to accessorise ethically, so why not do it?
Another brand that creates beautiful accessories from recycled ocean waste is Emma Burton Designs. They are a small brand that carry out beach cleans, saving the small plastic pieces that could be ingested by wildlife and turn this into jewellery. Their aim is to protect the marine environment and educate whilst creating unique and stunning pieces. These pieces include rings, cufflinks, necklaces, earrings, you name it! Each piece handcrafted and they also donate 10% of all sales to marine conservation charities.
Make a difference
If you can, support these brands that are actively trying to clean up our oceans and make a difference in the world. It is possible to stay fashionable whilst also staying ethical. By putting your money towards these innovative brands, you are contributing towards change. Change that we need to preserve our oceans and ocean life. By supporting these brands, you are making your own waves in the world.