4 years ago

June 2021

Marina Spadafora

From the abyss to our closet. Seaweeds, fish leather and nets are becoming fabrics.

The sea calls us and conveys energy and beauty. Who does not love the thrilling feeling of jumping in to the blue? Nowadays the sea and its ecosystem are in danger. Fashion can help to clean the oceans and to respect its creatures and its vegetations. Let’s remember that the marine forests absorbs overall more CO2 than the forests on earth! For example, forests of kelp seaweed absorb CO2 from air moving it to the deep and transforming it in marine biomass. From observation and studies on this wonderful seaweed, Seacell yarn is born.
This innovative fabric releases minerals when in contact with the skin revitalizing it. It protects from free radicals, from hazardous Uv rays and it is also anti-inflammatory, decongestant and toning.

Preserving this vital ecosystem and cleaning it from plastic is the mission of Spanish company Ecoalf,   which is partners with Italian Aquafil, with the aim of recovering ghost fishing nets abandoned by industrial trawler and transforms them in recycled nylon also used to make beautiful swimwear products.

On the other hand Safilo has launched, in partnership with the non for profit organization  The Ocean Cleanup, sunglasses made of recycled plastic coming from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s an island in the Pacific Ocean made of an gigantic amount of floating marine litter, mainly composed of plastic materials.

Vivienne Westwood, since a long time committed in an environmental battle, has designed with Eastpack the collection Save our Oceans, dedicated to the safeguard of oceans, made of recycled nylon and with prints inspired from aquatic creatures paints from XIX century.

What about fish leather?
It’s considered a more sustainable alternative to traditional leather. This type of leather is also a by-product of the food chain with the difference that fishes, compared to terrestrial animals, are not contributing to issues such as deforestation. It’s less impactful on the since the tanning processes are less aggressive on the environment compared to those applied on terrestrial mammals.   
The final products is light, resistant and elastic and has enthusiastic supporter like John Galliano, Prada,  Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo e  Nike.

There is another very interesting fabric coming from crabs and it’s called Crabyon. Similar to cotton, it is used in the medical and fashion sector. Patented in Japan, it converts the by-products of the food industry, it retains moisture and help in healing wounds. The fabrics is biodegradable and antibacterial thanks to chitosan, a carbohydrate derived from the outer skeleton of shellfish.

Even Pharrell Williams has publicly committed to protect the oceans with G-Star Raw for the Oceans. The Collection is made from denim fiber Bionic Yarn derived from the recycling of marine plastic, in partnership with the association Parley for the Oceans, international movement bord to clean the oceans and beaches. It partners also with Adidas and the stylist Iris van Herpen, who designed ss21 couture collection with Parley Ocean Plastic® material. It seems that the fashion world is more active in saving the marine ecosystem in order to save us.

This summer remember to bring an empty bag at the beach to fill it in with all the abandoned plastic you can find. Enjoy the sea!

edited by 
MARINA SPADAFORA stylist and green activist, she is coordinator of Fashion Revolution Italy, movement fighting for a fairer and more sustainable fashion system.