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This Fashion Line Is Made Out of Trash Fishermen Pull from the Sea

The sustainable fashion line produces their high-quality clothing using only recycled materials like “discarded fishing nets, post consumer plastic bottles, worn-out tires, post-industrial cotton, and even used coffee grinds.”
Photo via Flickr user tedx PSB

Spain may very well be home the one of the EU's largest fishing fleets—it boasts the largest aquaculture production rate and fish processing industry in all of Europe—but Valencia's weathered fisherman now have their sun-bleached nets pointed squarely at a pretty damn odd catch.

Ecoalf is the Madrid-based fashion company behind the puzzling shift among some of Spain's massive fishing fleet. The sustainable fashion line produces their high-quality clothing using only recycled materials like "discarded fishing nets, post consumer plastic bottles, worn-out tires, post-industrial cotton, and even used coffee grinds."

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Temperature keeps falling…Check out @ecoalf's SAMOENS JACKET Keeps you warm from X-MAS freezing cold!! Made with recycled nylon from fishing nets!! #becausethereisnoplanetB #ecoalf #winter #jacket #upcycling #winter #cold #cosy #sustainableashion #fashion #must

A photo posted by ECOALF (@ecoalf) on Dec 1, 2015 at 10:41am PST

In other words, they turn garbage into fashion. Which is exactly where our intrepid piscatores come into play. The company—which, according to The Local, claims to be the first clothing line to make use of recycled plastic found at sea—has hired some 200 fishing vessels in eastern Spain to scavenge sea waste for said purpose. Javier Goyeneche, the president of Ecoalf, says, "We want to present the first fashion collection made with yarn and fabric that comes from garbage found at the bottom of the sea in June in Florence."

Finally It's here!! UPCYCLING THE OCEANS by The @ecoalf Foundation and HAPfoundation!! "Change the way we interact with oceans" @cop21fr #becausethereisnoplanetB #ecoalf #upcyclingtheoceans #upcycling #oceans #project #launch #new #plastic #love #inspiration A photo posted by ECOALF (@ecoalf) on Dec 1, 2015 at 7:13am PST

In fact, Ecoalf began the practice of working with Valencian fisherman only this June and were able to convince them to do the work for free. Jose Ignacio Llorca Ramis, the president of the Federation of Fisherman of Valencia, stated that participating vessels have scavenged two tons of plastic waste and an additional two tons of garbage waste in only two months. According to a study based on 2010 data and published in the academic journal Science, roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic waste is released into the oceans every year by each of the 192 coastal nations in the world.

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Plastic waste has been of particular concern in the Mediterranean, where it is routinely found in the stomachs of marine life. "Sea turtles especially can die from a bowel obstruction when they ingest plastic bags, which they confuse with jellyfish," explained Xema Gil, a veterinarian working within the regional government of Valencia.

This December, Ecoalf's processing plant in the port city of Chiva will begin work breaking down the scavenged waste into miniscule flakes, which will in turn be processed into synthetic fiber.

This season it's all about Bomber Jackets! And even better if it's made with 38 recycled plastic bottles and recycled wool!! @ecoalf's BROOKLYN WOOL BOMBER JACKET!! Make it yours #becausethereisnoplanetB #intrashwetrust #ecoalf #bomber #jacket #recycled #quilted #trendy #sustainablefashion #topdesign #navy #midnight #inspiring #must

A photo posted by ECOALF (@ecoalf) on Nov 16, 2015 at 4:20am PST

Will Ecoalf and their partnered seaman actually manage to break the vicious cycle of waste ravaging the Mediterranean, or is this simply a case of a company seeking some extra PR? The fashion line's president certainly seems to believe their work falls into the former category. "It's a way to make people conscious of what is happening at the bottom of the Mediterranean," says Goyeneche.

"Where others see garbage, I see raw material." He's certainly got us thinking about all the plastics that are marring our seas.