I want to talk about swimwear. There, that got your attention. Swimwear, a week before Christmas? Has Rob been into the eggnog already? Well, bear with me, because this roots into one of the big self-inflicted problems that we as a species have inflicted on the planet, along with a potential solution.
There are, at a rough estimate, 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic choking the world's oceans. There are reports of great archipelagos of waste floating in the Pacific, man-caused islands that are a big problem for sea life and navigation. Something needs to be done. The trick, as ethical British swimwear makers Riz realise, is to turn that waste material into a resource.
They want to create the world's first 100% recycled board short, and they want to make it from ocean plastic. Riz has form here: they already sell shorts made from recycled polyester. But the aim here is to go further, to make something that's made entirely from waste material, from the material to the zippers to the buttons.
Using a crowdfunding model that's already over a third complete, Riz are pushing the boundaries of sustainability and cradle-to-cradle thinking. They aim to start production on the new shorts by 2016, and here at The Pier we applaud any venture that helps to keep our oceans beautiful. And hey, if we end up looking good too, then there's no harm done, right?
The crowdfunding page for Riz Boardshort's new venture is now live. Check it out, and let's get the plastics into the water in the right way: as super-smart surfwear.
Riz Boardshorts Crowdfunding at kriticalmass
Finally, a little bit of housekeeping. We roll the shutters down at Pier32 today at 4pm, reopening on January 5th. However, Gerry and Ian will both be checking emails during the Xmas period should you need to contact us urgently.
Meanwhile, I'll be back in a week with the Best Of The Pier in 2014, a look back at another great year with your favourite ethical customised clothing supplier and the slightly odd chap that runs their blog.
In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas!