Plastic, oh golly
This guy has had some seriously bad press recently…
And with no fault of its own.
We created a product that lasts forever, and then we threw it away, everyday, every minute and every second of the day. It’s strong, durable, and absolutely brilliant – but only when it’s used responsibly. There’s no denying that there’s plastic in the ocean. And it’s definitely there because of us. Because pretty much all of us use plastic.
We’re crazy, stupid in love with our planet. We bet you are too. So, we’ve targeted three main areas of plastic pollution and we strive to raise awareness around these growing threats, as well as rally you – our people – to join us in taking action.
Every year more than 100,000 seals, turtles, dolphins and whales are caught up in abandoned fishing nets and lines which have been left behind in oceans, accidentally or due to illegal fishing.
Not only do these giant nets pose the greatest threat to marine life but they also share a role in shedding harmful microfibres into our ocean as they slowly degrade over time.
According to a joint report by the FAO and UNEP, 640 000 tonnes of lost and abandoned fishing gear ends up in our oceans each year, making up one tenth of all marine litter, posing the greatest threat to our oceans.
She’s got that purpose driven, eco warrior save the world type vibe. She’s awesome. Here’s why…
Veronika works for the Healthy Seas Foundation – a non-profit initiative that recovers discarded ghost gear fishing nets by volunteer divers around the world. Once the fishing nets are salvaged they are given a new life, transformed and regenerated together with other discarded nylons by Aquafil into ECONYL® yarn.
We were so inspired by the work of Veronika and her team that we committed to sharing a percentage of our profits with the Healthy Seas Foundation. Because without their incredible work, we wouldn’t have the material to make our awesome cozzies. Because for us, environmental sustainability is no longer a choice; it’s an essential.
Discover more about our innovative fabrics, here.
Bio-Based World News reported shocking statistics last year that revealed the fashion industry puts the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles into the ocean every year, due to some clothing being responsible for releasing half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year.
A report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that the plastic debris ingested by fish comes not only from the more obvious industrial activities – litter, landfill runoff, and sewage overflows – but from everyday household activities like washing clothes. Washing fleeces and other synthetic clothes is much more damaging for the ocean than microbeads in cosmetics.
‘We are eating our own clothes’
− Rob Opsomer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
And while the government has pledged to ban the latter, clothes produce up to 16 times as many damaging tiny plastic fibres that end up in our oceans, yet governments remain complicit. Fast-fashion, the quicker turnaround of new styles, has caused global clothing production to double in 15 years. More than half of fast-fashion produced is disposed of in under a year.
The microfibres are ingested by shellfish and plankton and ultimately consumed by humans.
Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted.
Orb Media, The Plastic Inside Us
We feel clothing brands have been slow to respond to this.
The ocean is worlds largest source of protein. More than 2.6 billion people depend on the ocean for their primary source of protein. People with an average seafood diet are ingesting some 11,000 plastic particles annually.
That’s a lot of numbers … So, what happens now?
We’re committed to developing a practical solution to this growing threat. That’s why our cozzies are made from ECONYL®. We’ve also been carefully designing a washing machine filter bag to wash all your synthetic clothing (it’s also a really handy bag for doing your laundry in, too!). We know this may not be a long term solution, but feel it’s a good start.
We can’t wait to show you what else we’ve been working on – sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know.
Meanwhile, until our bag is finished its testing phase we encourage you to wash your Holiday Romance purchases by hand, in a cool wash, using a mild detergent.
Here’s how you can help prevent microfibre pollution
- Wash less! You’ll save tons of water, detergent, and it will help your clothes last longer.
- Stay away from powder detergent, especially those with added oxidizing agents to remove tough stains; they produce the highest fibre loss during washing. Fabric softener helps reduce shedding too.
- Wash synthetics in cool water (higher temperature can damage clothes and release more fibres).
- Avoid purchasing cheaply made, fast fashion clothes.
- Purchase a washing machine filter bag like this one. (And stay tuned for our microfiber filter bag coming soon!)
- Buy natural fibre clothing. For swimwear, we suggest regenerated fibres, like ECONYL® which uses continuous filament fibres (which are far less problematic).
- Avoid fleece jackets (a single fleece jacket can release a million fibres in a single wash!).
- Use front load washing machines as opposed to top load (top loading washing machines release about 530% more microfibres than front loading models).
- Spread the word! And please sign the petition.
Plastic? We Pass.
Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created is still with us.
Single use disposable plastic bags, bottles, containers, take-away coffee cups, and straws are a massive growing global problem for our landfill sites, oceans and waterways.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation made waves around the world last year when it published a report claiming that by 2050 there will be more plastic, by weight, in the world’s oceans than fish. We used science to create a material that lasts forever, and then we throw it away, all day, every day. And of course, there is no “away”.
This year, about 480 billion bottles of plastic will be produced and less than 10% of them will be recycled. The remaining 90% will end up somewhere – whether discarded in nature or in landfills – where it breaks down into micro-plastics and ends up in our groundwater, rivers, and eventually lakes and oceans. A single plastic bottle can break up into more than 10,000 pieces of toxic microplastic.
New research* suggests that a single plastic carrier bag could be shredded by marine organisms into around 1.75 million microscopic fragments.
*Professor Richard Thompson OBE, University of Plymouth
We’ve got the hots for
Which is why we’re committed to using recycled, environmentally-friendly materials to make our products.
We’re turning plastic problems into swimwear solutions with our entire collection made with the radical new ECONYL® regeneration system which regenerates 100% of its fibres from ocean nylon waste and other forms of pre- and post-consumer discarded nylons.
A lot of this regenerated nylon comes from “ghost gear” – abandoned fishing nets which endanger wildlife if left at sea but which, when rescued, can be successfully recycled. As such, ECONYL® entirely removes the need for the environmentally-damaging processes of oil extraction and refinement. Re-polymerized and spun into fresh new yarns, regenerated nylon threads perform identically to virgin yarns – and help save the world.
(we also UV-protect all our swimwear to not only protect your body but also protect the fibres from the sun’s harmful rays).
Discover more about our fabrics here.
See every pound you spend as a vote to what you want to see in the world. Refusing single use plastics means companies will have no alternative but to find a better solution. We hold the power as consumers to choose.
Life is a whirlwind of challenges and emotions – we understand, we already have a lot to contend with. So, here’s an effortless list of simple changes that will have a big impact on the place we call home. Not only saving you money but also making you feel good from the inside out – because doing your bit for the environment is just plain cool.
How to pass on plastic…
– Plastic bottles – what’s natural about drinking water from a plastic bottle? Ditch it for a reusable.
– Plastic carrier bags – the easiest plastic to pass on: simply keep a reusable shopper in your handbag.
– Straws – great for when you need to keep your lipstick in check but otherwise a completely pointless invention! Keep a metal straw in your handbag if you’re a red lipstick kinda gal.
– Disposable cutlery – refuse them in takeout restaurants and keep a set in your bag.
– Bathroom products – switch to shampoo bars and soaps.
– Coffee lids – most coffee houses now have great money saving schemes if you bring in your own reusable cup.
– Food packaging – plastic-free aisles in the supermarkets are on their way, but until then refuse ridiculous unnecessary supermarket food packaging wherever possible.
You can do it.
Together our small changes mean big ones.
Because without a beautiful planet, what’s the point in a beautiful bikini?