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A clothing company has developed a smart way to recycle sea waste.

transform plastic debris into thread for fabric

1 - 1 of 1 posts

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 3 Nov 2017

Around eight million tonnes of plastic waste enter our oceans each year, while we throw away around 26 billion lbs of clothing annually.

Ocean waste negatively alters the chemical composition of our marine world, affecting all ecosystems within the water. At the same time, the filling of landfill sites with waste, including clothing, produces hazardous chemicals polluting the air and soils, impacting negatively on our earth and our health. It is clear that something needs to be done.

A concept by Spanish clothing brand Ecoalf could help. The fashion company’s complex and revolutionary sustainability project aims to transform the plastic debris found in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea into thread for fabric, which is then used in its clothing. The project, Upcycling the Oceans, has been nominated for an award at 2017's Beazley Designs of the Year.

Ecoalf’s slogan is: ‘Because there is no planet B,’ and the company’s goal is “to create the first generation of recycled products with the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products.” So far, it looks like they are on their way to doing just that.

The Upcycling the Oceans (or UTO) project, originally launched in 2015 in Ecoalf’s home country of Spain, revolves around a circular economy model that revolutionises the process of creating clothing. There are three main steps: first, local fisherman collect the plastic from the Mediterranean Sea bed, it is then purified ready for polymerisation (transforming the waste into pellets), then finally a continuous filament is created through the extrusion and spinning of the pellets into thread for fabrics to be used in garments.

Javier Goyeneche, founder and president of Ecoalf, explained to BBC Designed how important the nomination is:  “It will increase people’s knowledge of what’s going on in the planet and how we are working towards accomplishing a very defined goal: to stop using natural resources in a careless way and leave a better future for the next generations.” The company has collaborated with Swatch, Apple and Goop. It has also worked with leading Spanish designer Sybilla to create a 10-piece collection featuring brightly coloured reversible coats and jackets in nylon that is created from discarded fishing nets.

Ecoalf expanded its mission to Thailand in September this year. The Thai project has the support of Tourism Authority of Thailand and PTT Global Chemical Public and will run for three years.

(Back in 2010
Electrolux Turns Marine Debris Into 5 Vacuums - also at
Vac from the Sea is a project initiated by home appliance maker Electrolux, aiming at raising awareness about the immediate need for the world to take better care of plastics and support the heroes that do.)