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Save Oceans as You Shop: 10 Sustainable Products Made From Recycled Waste

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Littering and pollution can damage marine ecosystems and kill marine animals.
Photo by Mohamed Abdulraheem/Shutterstock

Littering and pollution can damage marine ecosystems and kill marine animals.

These innovative items aren’t just trendy—they’re eco-friendly too.

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Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the oceans. To help combat this staggering statistic, various industries are making important eco-friendly efforts: Major hospitality groups are working with local organizations to introduce conservation strategies, an increasing number of airlines have pledged to fulfill long-term sustainability promises, and environmentally minded hotels are setting new standards for reducing negative environmental impact.

There are plenty of ways to take Earth-saving efforts into your own hands, too, starting with your wallet. These environmentally conscious companies are turning to the sea, transforming discarded trash into everyday treasures you can travel with. So next time you’re looking to purchase something snazzy to take on an upcoming trip, keep these 10 products made from recycled ocean waste at the top of your list.

Sustainable Sunglasses

“Shine” sunglasses by Sea2See, $96


These stylish sunglasses and optical frames are made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, abandoned fishnets, and ropes collected in Spain’s coastal fishing communities. The Barcelona-based company’s philosophy focuses on eco-innovation: Plastic is the main source of material in the eyewear industry, and Sea2See aims to lead the change in “turning waste into fashion.”

“The Tide” sunglasses from Norton Point, $89
Norton Point 

This Massachusetts-based eyewear brand removes plastic from Haiti’s canals and coastlines and transforms the waste into “socially conscious eyewear.” For every pair of sunglasses sold, Norton Point pledges to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean. Additionally, 5 percent of net profits go toward global clean-up, education, and remediation initiatives. 

Environmentally Friendly Footwear

“The Point” in marigold by Rothy’s, $145

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These trendy shoes for women are created using repurposed plastic waste. (The insoles are made from other recycled shoes.) Rothy’s has repurposed more than 11 million water bottles in just three years, but renewable materials aren’t used only in crafting the sustainable shoes themselves: Customers receive their purchases in biodegradable boxes made from 85 percent recycled materials, and the box is resealable too, so no tape is needed should you need to return a pair.

Adidas Ultraboost X Parley women’s running sneakers, $200 (also available in men’s and children’s sizes)
Adidas X Parley for the Oceans 

Ocean advocacy organization Parley for the Oceans teamed with Adidas to create a sustainable sportswear line using yarn spun Parley Ocean Plastic—beach waste that is intercepted and upcycled before it reaches the ocean. The Adidas X Parley for the Oceans line, which includes running shoes and workout wear for men, women, and children also features designs from famed fashion house Stella McCartney. Adidas has since pledged to use repurposed ocean plastic in all of its products by 2024.

Up-Cycled Swim Style

“The Seaboard Trunk” by The Tropics, $95
The Tropics 

This men’s swimwear line makes products “that are used to enjoy the ocean, not destroy it.” Each pair of trunks is created from recycled materials that have been transformed into durable REPREVE fiber. The Miami-based brand’s efforts to prevent ocean pollution doesn’t stop with its products. Each month, The Tropics hosts beach cleanups to spread sustainable awareness throughout the community.

“Moab” full-size, quick-drying towel by Nomadix, $40

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It’s a beach towel, it’s a yoga towel, it’s a travel towel . . . and it’s made using 100 percent recycled materials. Nomadix designs these stylish, sustainable towels to be hyper durable, lightweight, and quick drying so you can take them just about anywhere with you. The eco-friendly line also offers equally sensible festival blankets and hand towels made primarily from repurposed waste.

Low-Impact Luggage

Hamilton Perkins “Earth Bag Lite” duffle in red, $95

Hamilton Perkins Bag

Every individual Hamilton Perkins bag is made of approximately 17.5 recycled plastic bottles and features a one-of-a-kind lining made of old billboard vinyl and posters. The thoughtful travel bags come in different colors and styles (including duffles, backpacks, and hip bags), all of which are highly durable and equally sustainable.

8Hz Backpack from “The Saber Collection,” $198
8Hz Backpack

This eco-friendly travel pack features fabric made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. The backpacks feature multiple side pockets, dual handles, and additional space for larger travel gear. 8Hz blends utility and sustainability: Each backpack leaves 75 percent less carbon footprint than bags made using virgin polyester fabric, and 8 percent of the net profits from each purchase is donated toward causes that help keep the oceans clean.

Colorful Creations

A reef fish sculpture, repurposed from plastic flip-flops, from Sea Star Beachwear X Ocean Sole’s Bahari Collection, $45
Ocean Sole x Sea Star Beachwear

Each year, Kenya-based marine charity, Ocean Sole, collects over 100,000 pounds of discarded flip-flops from the country’s coast and upcycles the plastic waste into art. Now, the Sea Star Beachwear brand has teamed up with the organization to support their empowering mission: Ocean Sole’s repurposed sculptures are sold online alongside Sea Star Beachwear’s water-friendly espadrille shoes. The collection, named Bahari (which means “sea” in Swahili), features colorful sculptures depicting endangered sea creatures. Each piece retails for $45 and 100 percent of the proceeds is donated back to Ocean Sole’s beach-cleaning initiative.

Bureo’s “75 Gram Freestyle Frisbee,” featuring custom artwork by Lake Buckley, $12

Bureo Fishnet Flyer Frisbee

Discarded fishing nets make up an estimated 10 percent of plastic in the ocean, according to sustainable product manufacturer Bureo. The company is committed to creating environmentally friendly products that combat this problem by creating skateboards, surf fins, sunglasses, and Frisbees (pictured above), all using recycled fishing nets sourced from coastal communities in Chile.  

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