A New Wave of Men’s Brands Want to Save Our Oceans

Turning plastic waste into sartorial splendor

April 18, 2019 8:09 am
Fair Harbor

Turns out there’s even more plastic in the ocean than we thought.

But you can help. By taking a cool dip in the water.

What you’ll wear: Fair Harbor, a sustainable swimwear brand  that meshes cool style with some great, ocean-saving materials, available now.

The New York brand takes their inspiration from “childhood, barefoot summers” spent on Fire Island. Wanting to keep the beaches and surrounding waters clean, the brother/sister duo of Jake and Caroline Danehy created the line of swimwear crafted, in part, from post-consumer recycled polyester, which upcycles anywhere from 3-22 plastic bottles per item.

(Fun side note: Fair Harbor got its start at a mock Shark Tank competition at Colgate, where it was judged by celebrities like Jessica Alba, MC Hammer and Neil Blumenthal. It later became a successful Kickstarter campaign.)

That upcycled material is combined with organic cotton and a bit of spandex to create a line of colorful (but decidedly not tacky) board shorts, along with some like-minded tees, hoodies and bags.

The end result? The products themselves are durable, water-resistant and dry quickly. Plus, there’s some nice detailing: Zippered back pockets, additional side pockets and just enough stretch to keep things comfy.

This week the brand released a collaboration with the men’s shirting line UNTUCKit, with six styles that possess a bit more flair (see these orange photo print trunks) and a tailored fit.

Want to do more to help the oceans look better while helping your wardrobe? Below, eight other brands that mix style with a save-the-oceans ethos.

Adidas x Parley: Upcycled waste from beaches and coastal communities is turned into a yarn that’s used to create athletic shirts, shoes and shorts.


Everlane: The California outfitter’s transforming millions of plastic bottles into a handsome, functional clothing line called ReNew.

Guppyfriend: A mesh laundry bag you can put your synthetic clothing in, throw in the washing machine like normal, then collect the plastic microfiber residue from and dispose of it instead of letting it wash into our waterways.

Norton Point

Norton Point: One pound of ocean-bound plastic is used to make each pair of this beachy eyewear

Solgaard: A former Kickstarter, Solgaard makes kickass travel products designed to optimize space and also prevent theft. They’re also currently transitioning to using exclusively recycled ocean plastics.

Sperry: The heritage brand recently debuted a line of sneakers and boat shoes made from BIONIC, a material woven from plastic recovered from marine and coastal environments.


Tropicfeel: A Kickstarter sensation, this ravel sneaker built from recycled plastic bottles. More on them here.

United by Blue: A brand that pledges to remove one pound of trash from the oceans for every product purchased. They craft a line of bags made from REPREVE, a sustainable fiber made from recycled fabrics and plastic water bottles.

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