Sustainable brand Ecoalf launches trainers made from single-use ocean plastics and algae – The Spanish fashion label launches its Ocean Waste collection in September and will be available to buy online in the UK.
A sustainable fashion brand has created a footwear range made from single-use plastics collected from the ocean floor. Spanish company Ecoalf source five plastic bottles from the Mediterranean Sea to create each pair of Shao trainers from its Ocean Waste collection, with no waste generated in the production and manufacturing processes.
Plastic waste from the ocean floor is extracted and processed into a yarn – used to create a black knitted upper sole designed to fit like a sock. The outsole is composed of an invasive species of algae that grows in lakes and rivers and provides the most sustainable performance driven foam in the world. “Our Upcycling the Oceans initiative began in Spain in 2015,” founder Javier Goyeneche told Sky News.
“To date, we’ve taken out 250 tons of waste from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea with the support of 3,000 fishermen in 33 ports – which is actively expanding.” The philosophy behind the collection is zero waste – with the plastic bottles developed with PET – recycled polyester.
The insole has been eliminated to reduce the number of materials used, along with shoelaces. The label is also printed instead of attached to minimise fabric wastage. Ecoalf is helping to save the environment because it is “not only cleaning the seas but also giving a second life to plastic,” Mr Goyeneche said.
“On top of this, the harvest of the specific species of algae remediates water in its natural habitat and protects plant and animal life that depends on fresh water for their survival. “By not utilising conventional foam, we are also reducing the consumption of oil, which is a main component of the traditional material. “Instead you wear the most sustainable performance driven foam in the world,” he continued.
The sustainable fashion brand has developed over 250 materials using plastic bottles, discarded fishing nets, post-consumed coffee grounds and post-industrial cotton and wool. Mr Goyeneche said that other companies shy away from creating sustainable fashion because “it is not easy.”
“It’s hard to find the right technology to transform waste into high quality recycled materials, factories with the capabilities of manufacturing our goods properly.” The rewards have been incredible for Ecoalf, however, which originated in 2009, as it prepares to launch a swimwear collection in Thailand made from plastics next spring.
“Every season we continue to search for the latest materials that will have a low impact in the environment. “We hope that Ecoalf will inspire others to transition to utilizing recycled materials,” he added.
Ecoalf, which ships to the UK, launches its Ocean Waste collection in September.
This article originally appeared in SkyNews by Lucia Binding