Sneakers made from ghost nets

Sustainable footwear start-up Ocean Refresh designed sneakers made of recycled ocean plastic, including ghost nets and plastic bottles.

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been discarded or lost by fishermen at sea. The nets float around in the water, in which approximately 100,000 sea creatures like turtles, dolphins, seals and whales get caught and die each year.

Ocean Refresh works together with Seaqual Initiative, a company that works with waste management and recycling industries to transform marine litter into upcycled plastic. The ocean plastic, including ghost nets is collected by fishermen and NGOs along coastlines. The gathered plastic is turned into polyester thread called Sequel yarn, which is used to make sneakers.

The shoes, called Oceana, contain the plastic equivalent of about 12 bottles. The air mesh lining is made of recycled PET plastic and corn fibre, which Ocean Refresh says makes them breathable, durable and fast drying. The soles are made from recycled rubber, like tires, and the insoles made from recycled cork and foam. The shoes have organic cotton laces.

The sneakers were designed in the Netherlands and are ethically produced in Portugal at a factory with zero waste credentials. The shoes are certified vegan.

To prevent the sneakers ending up at the landfill, Ocean Refresh also offers a recycle programme, in which you can send back your used shoes to be recycled and in turn receive a 25% discount on your new pair.

You can view Ocean Refresh’s Kickstarter here.

Photos: Ocean Refresh