Ocean Plastic is a real problem. About 8 million pieces of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every day. That’s up to 14 million tons of plastic added to the oceans every year!

The good news is there are brands out there trying to put this trash to good use. These five brands are dedicated to sustainable and ethical business practices. Unlike many larger commercial clothing brands, they aren’t simply making a one-off greenwashed collection to appear more eco-conscious without putting in the work needed to change their infrastructures and respect the environment and their workers.

1. Oceans the Brand

 

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This Belgian company is dedicated to making swim trunks from 100 percent recycled fibers from ocean plastic. Swimwear needs to be fast-drying, so it needs to be made out of plastic. Recycled polyester is their solution to garments that are often just made from virgin landfill-filling polyester. The ocean plastic is processed into a soft bathing suit material and made into a selection of swimming trunks in fun patterns, along with a more basic black one, too. 

Oceans the Brand also donates 5% of their annual sales to Oceans-centred charities. 

2. Ocean Threads

 

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Oceans Threads makes performance gear made from plastic that has already entered or is about to enter the ocean. Every garment is made from 100 percent certified ocean plastic. The plastic is turned into polyester threads, then into the fabric which is sent to Florida and sewn into the final garment. Currently, you can purchase shirts and several mask options from Ocean Threads. Every long sleeve shirt is made from one pound of plastic. 

3. Bureo 

Plastic in the ocean isn’t just from old candy wrappers and bottles of water. Fishing nets are made from nylon and contribute to the masses of toxic trash that ends up in the bodies of water. Bureo makes skateboards, sunglasses, and other well-designed bits and bobs like Jenga sets and water booths from unusable fishing nets retrieved on the Chilean Coast. 

Bureo understands “the lack of infrastructure available for when the nets meet their end of life” and does not directly blame fishermen for the accumulating fishing net waste. Instead, they have developed an incentivized program with local communities to collect nets. 

While their t-shirts aren’t made from NetPlus, a percentage of the proceeds from their Fin4Fin collection will go towards anti-shark finning activism. 

4. Londre

 

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This Canada-based brand makes women’s bathing suits and other day-to-day apparel. So far, Londre has recycled 200,000 plastic bottles from streets and beaches and turned them into garments. Their Minimalist One Piece is made from at least six recycled plastic bottles found in Vancouver, Canada. All of the swimwear can be recycled after its current life ends, which ensures that no garment is thrown into a landfill once worn to death. 

The water from their production process can be reused for future garment making and every piece is modeled on multiple body types so women get a better idea of how a suit will look on them. 

5. Emma Burton Designs 

Emma Burton makes colorful and easy-to-wear jewelry from natural materials like sea glass and shells. Her Sea Plastics Jewellery Planet Collection is made from hand-collected sea plastics found on beach cleans. The collection features bright rings and cufflinks that are colorful but still wearable. Tiny pieces of plastic (microplastics) are also collected and used in the collection. Ten percent of all sales from ocean plastic jewelry is donated to a marine conservation charity. 

Fashion is the Future

The fashion industry has a lot of forward-thinking innovations. The next time you’re itching to make a purchase, why not look for a brand that actively contributes to a clean and happier world? We do not doubt that aquatic life around the world will be eternally grateful.

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