This week, sustainable menswear brand Outerknown launched #ITSNOTOK, an evergreen giveback program designed to bring awareness to environmental issues – particularly the declining health of our oceans, mostly due to pollution – all over the world. #ITSNOTOK is a call to action to consumers to become part of the solution, rather than the problem, by helping to clean up the oceans. Outerknown – which incorporates ECONYL yarn, made from reclaimed fishing nets and other nylon waste materials collected from the ocean, in many of its products – will donate 100 percent of the profits from the sale of its #ITSNOTOK products to Ocean Conservancy to help conserve our beaches and oceans.
At a time when scientists estimate that by 2025 there could be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the ocean, the private sector has mobilized to try and raise awareness and help eliminate the problem. Outerknown’s campaign joins one launched earlier this month from Sky in the UK, and recent initiatives from brands including adidas, H&M, and Procter & Gamble, all of which are turning plastic waste collected from oceans and beaches into new products.
"What if others animals were creating as much garbage as humans?" asks Outerknown founder Kelly Slater. "It's pretty appalling if you think of it that way; we need to shift our awareness. It's not ok to destroy our ocean. It's not one person's problem. It's everyone's problem.”
Outerknown’s #ITSNOTOK capsule collection consists of a t-shirt, towel (available Summer 2017), and zip-up fleece (available Fall 2017). Each piece was developed from sustainable materials including 100% Organic Pima Cotton made in Peru, 100% Organic Cotton made in Portugal, Hemp, and Recycled Polyester Fleece. Outerknown says it hopes to inspire a movement to clean up the world’s oceans and empower people to make their voices heard. #ITSNOTOK products will be cornerstones of its collection for many seasons to come; 100% of the profits from the sale of these products will be donated to Ocean Conservancy to aid its ongoing work restoring the health of our beaches and oceans.
"We're thrilled to be the first recipients of Outerknown's #ITSNOTOK campaign to tackle the crisis of marine debris," said Andreas Merkl, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "The ocean is part of all of us and every single person can help make a positive difference to our ocean and coastal communities."
Ocean Conservancy advocates for science-based solutions to restoring the health of the oceans and the wildlife and communities that depend on them. It leads a global coalition of industry leaders, ocean advocates, analytical advisors, donors and government agencies committed to identifying the causes and developing solutions to prevent waste from entering the seas. In 2015, the organization released a report proposing a four-point solution to completely eliminating ocean plastic waste by 2035. The proposal outlines specific, land-based solutions for eliminating plastic waste in the ocean – starting with the elimination of plastic waste leakage in five priority countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – and identifies solutions for these countries to properly concentrate and treat the plastic waste before it makes its way into the ocean. The report estimates that total costs for implementing these solutions could be contained at $5 billion a year, with significant returns to the global economy.