THE World’s first eco-friendly underpants made using recycled ocean plastics have now officially launched in the UK.
Finnish firm The Other Danish Guy have unveiled a range of boxers and trunks made, in part, from fabric fashioned from salvaged flotsam and jetsam, including discarded fishing nets.
And for company founder Tommi Lähde, his ‘Discovery Collection’ smalls - being sold through a new UK website - stem from a genuine desire to protect the marine environment.
Lähde, whose garments retail for £32.90, explained: “I was essentially born on the sea; my father is a sea captain and I learned to love the water from being a toddler.
“I’ve been sailing my own boats ever since I was a child and I’ve seen first hand how the marine environment is changing for the worse.
“I remember a time when the Baltic Sea was so clear you could see a coin at a depth of 15 metres.
“Nowadays, I can’t see further than my arm’s length. And it comes down to pure negligence. We want to try and make a real difference.”
The charity World Animal Protection says entanglement in so-called ‘ghost gear’ - abandoned fishing equipment - kills at least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales every year.
But The Other Danish Guy has partnered with ECONYL®, a trademark of Italian firm Aquafil, and are using ECONYL® yarn to turn regenerated nylon into comfortable underwear.
Nylon waste is collected from all over the world and sent to the ECONYL® waste treatment center in Ajdovščina, Slovenia.
Part of that waste collection process involves the 'The Healthy Seas’ initiative, where volunteer divers are recovering abandoned or lost ghost nets from the bottom of the seas in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Croatia.
"Ethical production, and buying habits, can be a counter-reaction to stupid political decisions. We want to be a brand who gives something back"
Another cog in the process is 'Net-Works’, founded by Interface with Zoological Society London, which is a social initiative to empower coastal communities in the Philippines and Cameroon to collect and sell discarded fishing nets.
Meanwhile other forms of waste recycled by ECONYL® and turned into material includes spent fish farming nets, the fluff from spent Nylon carpets, industrial plastic waste, yarn discards and fabric straps.
The net result is a fabric called ‘smoothshell’, used in The Other Danish Guy’s underwear, and which is fast-drying and has an ‘outstandingly soft touch’, according to Lähde.
Lähde adds: “It’s estimated there’s 640,000 tons of discarded fishing nets in the oceans.
“These fishing nets remain adrift for a substantial amount of time and are responsible for the accidental capture of whales, turtles, birds and other marine mammals.
“This problem only continues to get worse each year.
“For us, using recycled nylon yarn made in part using ocean garbage, and other recycled materials, was a two-fold decision.
“We want to change the world for the better, and we also discovered that this type of nylon is much softer and more comfortable against the skin.
“Ethical production, and buying habits, can be a counter-reaction to stupid political decisions. We want to be a brand who gives something back.
“We will make all of our future products from materials that are sustainable and eco-friendly.”
The Other Danish Guy Discovery Collection pants are available now from https://theotherdanishguy.co.uk, priced £32.90 each.
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