From the Sea to the Streets

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After a recent pledge by Asian countries – which contribute 60 percent of marine plastic waste – to clean up our oceans, we look at some of the fashion brands upcycling plastics scooped from the seas.

Our oceans are in some serious trouble, of that there’s no doubt. Our fascination (let’s be honest, our addiction) to plastics has led to a marine environmental disaster of epic proportions. In an attempt to combat this plastic plague, a clutch of innovative brands from the fashion world has turned to sea waste as the inspiration for their new lines, upcycling plastics harvested from the oceans for inventive and striking collections.

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Created by 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, Outerknown (above) tackles both textile waste and ocean plastic to create its range of stylish menswear, including a line made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets, which make up 10 percent of all marine debris.

Look out for the brand’s boardshorts and jackets, made from Econyl, a nylon yarn made from old nets, carpets, and other recycled nylon sources.

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G-Star Raw

One of several fashion brands using the recycled plastic fabrics of Bionic Yarn, an NYC startup for which Pharrell Williams is creative director, Danish label G-Star Raw produces a wide range of earth-friendly men’s and women’s clothing items, including classic t-shirts, jackets and its own line of denim jeans.

We especially like the Sustainable Dunda Polos, which offer an earth-friendly take on the classic equestrian shirt with a stripped-back design and comfortable, slim fit.

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Adidas x Parley

Adidas x Parley

Shoe-turned-sportswear brand Adidas has teamed up with environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans to create running shoes with uppers made entirely of recycled sea plastics collected from remote beaches and coastal communities.

The Adidas x Parley trainers were initially launched in a limited-release but were so popular that they are now available in a wide variety of styles and colourways for both men and women.

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Family-run brand Faherty‘s chic designs include men’s boardshorts made a signature sustainable fabric, consisting primarily of recycled polyester made from salvaged plastic bottles.

Despite their green credentials, these shorts will last the distance thanks to a unique finishing method that ensures deep long-lasting colour and protection against chlorine and salt.

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With a full line-up of sustainable clothing items, Bonobos manufactures and markets a line of jeans, called “Bottle Rockets” that are made completely from recycled materials, including recycled cotton and plastic beer bottles.

Available in canvas and indigo shades, each pair constitutes 3-5 recycled beer bottles, with the jeans made using yarn from EarthSpun, which uses the colours of the bottles rather than dyes to colour its products.

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About Author

Nick Walton is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist and Group Managing Editor for Artemis Communications, producers of Alpha Men Asia, Ultimate Encounters, The Art of Business Travel, IKHLAS, Heavens Voyage, and many other titles.

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