It was the first outdoors retail brand to start manufacturing fleece with recycled plastic bottles in 1993, and they've continued to be a leader of the movement throughout the decades since.
Lately, the brand has been experimenting with using discarded fishing nets in their products, and is currently making the new Stretch Rainshadow Jackets using Econyl, 100% recycled nylon yarns which include, at least in part, discarded fishing nets. Going forward, as always, you can be sure to see more of this from Patagonia.
B Corporation Bureo was founded by Ben Kneppers and Kevin Ahearn in 2013 to elicit positive solutions to the environmental crises our oceans face.
Using derelict and retired fishing nets recovered from the Chilean coast, Bureo makes everything from sunglasses (in partnership with Costa) to skateboards and Jenga sets.
Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze were on a surf trip in Bali when they witnessed fishermen launching their vessels along a shoreline so strewn with trash they could hardly identify the sea's surface beneath it. Fast-forward about two years and the duo has built a team, branded as 4ocean, that has removed over four million pounds of trash from the ocean and its coastlines.
The company makes bracelets out of the trash they collect, and for each sale, they pledge to pull one pound of plastic from our oceans and coastlines. They also make plastic-free reusable water bottles, for which it makes the same pledge.
The brainchild of veteran world surfing champion Kelly Slater and inveterate Los Angeles-based designer (and surfer) John Moore, Outerknown is a push against decades of dubiously manufactured and emblazoned swim- and surf-wear. It's a simplistic and responsibly made line of women's and men's styles that are designed to last.
The Evolution line, which is made with Econyl regenerated nylon using recovered fishing nets and other ocean plastics, mostly consists of swimwear and jackets for now.
5. Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective is an athleisure brand known for their colorful, comfy leggings made from 25 recycled bottles. The process starts with all of the consumer waste or plastic being sorted at the plant, chemically cleaned, shredded into tiny bits, and then shipped to a manufacturing facility where it's turned into fabric.
According to their website, "as soon as our spinning mill takes the delivery of our raw PET chips from the recycling center, the bag of chips go through another wash and are dried. Once they dry, the chips get sent to a storage silo and are sent to a machine where the chips get heated up and extruded into long, thick spaghetti-like strands.” Afterward, they are chipped down into little pellets and reheated one last time, where the plastic is eventually cut into super fine strands and spun into spools where they get shipped off for knitting.
Girlfriend Collective has also launched the LITE Collection, a line that utilizes recycled fishing nets.
KARUN believes "nature is the greatest teacher and inventor" and as such, has found a way to create a positive impact on the planet by making their 7 Seas Sunglasses out of reclaimed fishing nets from the ocean. When they're not making shades that would put Warby Parker to shame, they're caring for the land by using wood from fallen Chilean oak trees to produce their stunning Wood Collection or working with leather waste and cotton from Patagonia to create the straps for their glasses.
These modern sunglasses and optical frames are made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, abandoned fishing nets, and ropes collected from coastal fishing communities in Spain and Ghana. The company’s philosophy focuses on eco-innovation: Plastic is the main source of material in the eyewear industry, and Sea2See aims to lead the change in “turning waste into fashion.” Each pair of frames, which are handmade in Italy, amounts to 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of plastic collected and recycled.
8. The Tropics
The Miami-based Tropics started as an idea during a stay at an eco-friendly resort in Tulum. Enamored by the lack of waste, the founders dove into months of research and experimentation to develop a line of swim trunks sourced from recycled materials. While the manufacturing process is similar to most, the collection isn't. The Tropics host a monthly beach clean-up with a slew of volunteers to not only clean the shorelines but to repurpose the collected waste into stylish boardshorts.
9. Ocean Sole x Sea Star recycled beach art
Kenya’s women-run marine charity, Ocean Sole Africa, collects over 100,000 pounds of discarded flip-flops from the country’s coast annually and upcycles the plastic waste into art. In 2018, resort and lifestyle brand Sea Star Beachwear teamed up with Ocean Sole to support their empowering mission: Now Ocean Sole’s upcycled sculptures are sold online alongside Sea Star’s water-friendly shoes, bags, and accessories. The collection, named Bahari (which means “sea” in Swahili), features colorful sculptures depicting sea creatures such as turtles, octopuses, and hammerhead sharks.
10. Zero Point
Zeropoint is a global brand connecting active people around the world and world leader in using the most sustainable materials in apparel.
The fabrics are made using repurposed nylon waste collected from landfills and oceans. A highly sophisticated polymer process is used to turn this material into Econyl fabrics.
by Seda Balatekin