It’s 2020 and we know how important it is to remove waste from the seas. From campaigns to reduce single-use plastic to organizing beach clean-up parties, people all over the world are focused on making the oceans a safer and healthier place. Using ingenuity and sustainable practices, the latest eco-friendly trend to look out for is products made from recycled fishing nets. That’s right. Fishing nets!
According to the World Wildlife Organization, ghost nets (fishing nets that have been lost or abandoned in the ocean) not only harm marine mammals and fish that get caught in the netting, they also damage the coral reefs, expose them to disease, and can block the sunlight coral requires to survive. In other words, ghost nets are a huge problem for the ocean’s ecosystems. The World Animal Protection society estimates that in just one year over 164,000 tonnes of fishing gear are left in our oceans! Removing these products from our oceans is essential for the health of our planet. However, some companies are taking this one step further and using these recovered nets to create everyday products you can feel great about. So, here are some great companies to check out if you want to help save the ocean.
1. Tech Support: returnable phone cases
POPSICASE’s inception embodies eco-friendly and sustainability. Starting as a Kickstarter campaign in 2018, artist and sculptor, Pablo, was searching for a phone case that had a built-in handle so he could easily take pictures of his art. Hailing from the seaside city of Barcelona, Pablo immediately knew he wanted to create a product that was eco-friendly from start to finish. What makes our POPSICASE phone cases so great? Not only are all of our 100% recycled phone cases, made up of fishing nets and from the Mediterranean Sea (see their Program for recycling of Fishing Nets Net Viva), they are also Revivack Certified, meaning that you can return your old one to the brand to be totally recovered leaving no waste behind! Partnered with Project CeroCO, we compensate for the carbon emissions of shipping and offset our carbon footprint for a truly sustainable purchase.
The Arctic POPSICASE features beautiful artwork from Barcelona’s Renata Ortega and showcases the sealife at risk from ocean pollution. The Love Under The Sea collection highlights ocean mammals and sea life from across the globe in need of our protection.
POPSICASE currently offers covers for most iPhone models and is working on expanding the collection. With a variety of colours and patterns available, you can find a POPSICASE to suit your mood and spark a conversation about supporting the planet and recycling efforts today.
2. Outdoor Adventures and Fun
What better way to spend a summer day than playing frisbee or enjoying a coffee with a game of Jenga? This gift combo pack from Bureo (pronounced BOO – RAY – O), has everything you need for fun in the sun with the added benefit of supporting ocean health.
This package Includes:
1x Jenga Ocean Set – Made from 100% recycled fishing nets. This Ocean Edition features special rules to encourage players to save the marine animals printed on the blocks. Players will also learn the damage of ghost nets to the oceans and animals within and what they can do to help.
1x Fishnet Flyer Frisbee – Made in California from recycled fishing nets and designed for a lifetime of fun, Bureo’s Fishnet Flyer Frisbee is a fun spin on recycling. Weighing 175 grams and printed with custom artwork by artist Lake Buckley, the Fishnet Flyer Frisbee is sure to be a hit.
1x Bureo Make Waves T-Shirt – Made in California from 100% organic cotton and featuring original hand-drawn art by Jonas Claesson, this slim-fit tea is ultra-soft and perfect for a hot summer day.
1x Bureo Chilefornia Mug – Enjoy your coffee or a cocktail in this 12oz Insulated MiiR Mug with vacuum insulation, a press-fit lid for a spill-proof seal, and a new twist on a classic design. The double wall will prevent sweating and protect your hand from heat so you can enjoy your hot or cold beverages all summer long. 100% free from BPA and made of stainless steel, your drinks will taste fresh and clean with no chemical aftertaste.
Other Bureo products:
Operating in Chile, Bureo creates high-quality products out of recycled fishing nets retrieved off the coast of Chile and California. Bureo created Net Positiva, a “fishnet collection and recycling program aimed at combating the detrimental impacts of discarded fishing nets”. In order to reduce the impact ghost nets have in the future, Net Positiva creates environmentally sound disposal points for fishermen, from which Bureo can source their material for a variety of products. You can feel confident in your contribution to the cause as Net Positiva has collected over 600,000kg of materials from 50 participating fisheries in South America since 2013.
3. Eco-Friendly Swimwear
Are you looking for new swimwear with an eco-friendly spin for summer? A true swimsuit revolution, Deakin & Blue offers a unique sizing system for a comfortable, sleek and sculpting fit, whatever your shape or size. Made from ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon fibre made from post-consumer waste such as old fishing nets and industrial plastic, each piece is handmade in a small London factory with transparent practices and safe working conditions. It’s no wonder Deakin & Blue made beeco‘s list of top ethical swimwear.
The Classic Reversible Swimsuit Lido & Navy is a two-in-one marvel for women who spend their summer days on the beach or by the pool. On side one: a bright and beautiful lido blue with contrast navy panels to define the waist. On side two: a classic navy blue, understated and perfect for accessorizing. Offering full UV protection while being soft, light, and breathable, this swimsuit features a built-in bust support, a low-scoop back and low-cut underarms for protection against chafing. Women can feel confident wearing a Deakin & Blue swimsuit all summer long without the worry of it fading thanks to a material twice as resistant to chlorine, sun cream, and oil as standard Lycra® swimwear.
4. A New Vision
Who doesn’t love fashion-forward accessories? Based in Europe, Yuma Labs has helped collect 304 tonnes of plastic to date, and marries transparent operations with global action. Boasting more than 135 models of frames for both kids and adults, Yuma Labs eyewear is made with 100% certified recycled products, between them marine plastic. Each pair of glasses is expertly crafted and hand-painted for a unique and one-of-a-kind look and feel.
The Surf style sunglasses are unisex and offer 100% ultraviolet protection and come in a variety of colours. Handmade in Italy and durable, these shades will get you through those sunny days.
So, for those of us who require everyday eyewear, you can look sharp with the So-Sharp frames. Handmade in Italy as always, these gorgeous frames are lightweight, ultra resistant and use flex technology to reduce pressure points keeping you comfortable all day. Available in four colours, there’s a pair to please everyone.
If you are in Barcelona, you can visit their brick and mortar store that espouses the same philosophy as their online shop. The floor is made of recycled micro cement, displays are backlit with LED technology, and natural oak wood completes the shelving and design.
5. Fashion for the Whole Family
Created in 2009 after the birth of his son, Javier Goyeneche wanted to create a truly sustainable fashion brand his newborn son, Alfredo, could be proud of. He called it ECOALF.
Backpacks are making their way back into the fashion world and there is an eco-friendly option for all of your summer adventures, whether you’re hiking, heading to the beach, or riding your bike to work. ECOALF’s Wild Sherpa Backpack is made with 100% recycled nylon from post-consumer waste such as fishing nets and recycled fabric waste. This backpack is outfitted with a snap closure to keep your belongings safe, as well as several pockets to keep your life organized. Waterproof and boasting a capacity of 16 L, you can carry everything essential for your trip and feel confident you’re making the oceans a better place.
For those who wish to make a bolder statement, the #becausethereisnoplanetB collection is made from 100% organic cotton with the slogan printed on each top. Ranging in sizes from XS-XXL, the Because Collection has a variety of t-shirts and sweatshirts for women, men, and children in many colours, styles, and prints. As a bonus, 10% of the proceeds from each sale goes towards the Upcycle the Oceans project and helps the Ecoalf Foundation in its mission to clean up the oceans.
For more sustainable fashion or for more information on their effort to save the oceans, check out ECOALF.
6. Final Thoughts
Whether you’re looking for swimsuits, home goods, threads or accessories, you can do your part to make the planet a better place by putting your money where the activism is. With ingenuity and passion for sustainable practices, these companies are taking the massive problem of ghost nets and plastic waste in the oceans and turning it into fashion without sacrificing style.
This post has been written in collaboration with Beeco.