On World Oceans Day, Fourth Element launched OceanPositive: swimwear and rashguards made using recycled marine waste.
OceanPositive swimwear and hydroskin rashguards are made using recycled nylon from fishing nets which have been abandoned by fishing vessels having snagged on reef, wrecks etc.
These “Ghost Nets” amount to nearly 640,000 tonnes of lost gear per year. The main hazard is to marine life from invertebrates to large marine mammals, as well as divers.
Dive teams from the Ghost Fishing Project are “harvesting” these nets, removing them from the sea, and bringing them back to port, after which the nets are collected, recycled and spun into nylon yarn. Fourth Element uses fabric made from this yarn in Italy, combined with Lycra to make a line of active swimwear.
Oceans advocate and figurehead of Mission Blue, Dr Sylvia Earle said: “This is a fantastic idea, [one which] demonstrates what we can, and should, do for the oceans,” when she saw the range previewed at the DEMA show in Las Vegas in late 2014.
“The OceanPositive range is a statement of what we feel is our responsibility to protect the environment which we love, and we believe we should protect,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element. “It is part of a strategy that has seen us adopt more environmentally responsible policies including recycling old neoprene, changing our packaging to reduce single use plastic packaging, favouring reusable or recyclable solutions.
“We also wanted to address a requirement of divers for great looking products which are also practical. Every diver wears swimwear under their dive gear – some bikini styles have no clasps, others have a single clasp or tie to as be more comfortable under a wetsuit.”
The OceanPositive swimwear concept reverses the traditional Cradle to Grave product development models to deliver a Grave to Cradle solution, to produce a product designed by divers for diver, made from marine waste, sourced by divers.
OceanPositive will be in stores late Summer 2015.
To watch a video about OceanPositive and to sign up for updates visit oceanpositive.net (full website coming soon).
For more information about Fourth Element visit fourthelement.com.