#tide Ocean Material
4 min read
The ocean is suffering from an epidemic of plastic pollution, with an estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste finding its way into the water every year. Whilst providing a versatile and durable material that can lend itself to multiple functions, plastic’s inherent longevity also poses a major problem; especially when coupled with the disposable way in which our societies use this material.
#tide are working to tackle this problem by collecting ocean-bound plastics where they have the most impact, and upcycling them into a valuable resource that can be used to create multiple products.
Working closely with social enterprises and communities in Southeast Asia, #tide have created a global network supported by the local fishermen who collect ocean-bound plastic. The fishermen are trained, paid fair wages for their collections, and empowered to preserve the natural world around them.
The recovered plastic is sorted, shredded into flakes, washed, and then sent to #tide's compounding facilities in Thailand or Switzerland. Together with Switzerland’s Institute for Materials Technology and Plastics Processing, they have come up with a mechanical process which regenerates the plastic material so that it is as strong as it was before being exposed to UV rays and saltwater while floating in the ocean. The granules that come out of this process can be used in a huge variety of products, from furniture to fabrics. The granules are compounded with renewable energy, and all the carbon emissions related to transport are offset through the MyClimate Foundation, which conducts projects of reforestation, coral reef preservation, mangrove protection and many more.
With every detail of our watch collaboration having been specifically designed to connect our community to the sea, it felt natural that we should ensure the strap did the same; taking plastic out of the sea, to help you get back in it.