By now you have probably heard about about the plastic pollution that is clogging our oceans. Some estimates put plastic use at 300 million tons per year, with only 8% of it getting recycled. , Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year. And Greenpeace estimates that the amount of plastic that is discarded is the equivalent of one garbage truck load of plastic entering our oceans every minute. So it shouldn’t be a big surpirse that at the rate we are going it is estimated that our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
One of the biggest contributors? Plastic bottles. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that we use 1,500 plastic water bottles every second. And more often than not, they’re not recycled — only one out of six of every plastic bottles purchased is recycled, which means that five are thrown away ending up in landfills or the oceans.
And all that plastic that gets thrown away, well it either breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, or tends to gather in ocean gyres like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — the massive patch of marine debris in our ocean that is now visible from space (and growing).
Marine life can ingest a lot of the small plastic pieces — it is estimated that fish in the North Pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year; and that 60 percent of all seabird species have eaten pieces of plastic, with that number predicted to increase to 99 percent by 2050. And ingesting that plastic doesn’t just kill marine life, it also poisons our food chain.
That is largely why Riz Smith and Ali Murrell, founders of Riz Boardshorts, have made it their mission to develop board shorts that are made entirely out of recycled ocean plastics — from the lining, to the cord and zipper. Today their shorts are made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, but the company is working with fabric manufacturers and other brands to figure out how they can create shorts not just from recycled fabrics, but made entirely from recycled ocean plastics.
Self-proclaimed “British-Hawaiian,” Riz shorts have an “old school” tailored feel that won’t go out of style and are kept current with their contemporary prints. They work with a small collective of hand selected artists and illustrators to come up with prints that fit their vision. All of their shorts are made in Europe in small batches. Every pair of shorts is digitally printed (with earth friendly inks) in the UK.
And their shorts are made to last, which means less waste on the backend of their lifecycle. And when you finally are ready for a new pair, the company encourages its customers to Rizcycle. Through their Rizcycle program, the company hopes to create a perpetual loop that can transform old swimwear into beautiful new products by allowing customers to return their old shorts for a 25% discount on their next pair.
To top it all off, Riz donates a portion of their profits to charities like the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), The Eden Project and The Wave Project that are working to protect the ocean, the environment and endangered species.
PS. They also are starting to make shorts for the ladies so we aren’t left out in the cold.