An estimated 30 million tons of waste are improperly disposed of around the world every year. Of this, around 8 million tons per year simply end up in the sea. In some areas there are already very large garbage slicks in the sea, of which the largest garbage slick has even reached about the size of Central Europe. If we carry on as we have been, by 2050 there will likely be more litter in the ocean than fish. Plastic waste in particular is considered particularly dangerous for the environment and animals, because it takes up to 600 years to decompose and often contains toxic chemical substances and releases microplastics. But what exactly is plastic and what is it made of?
Plastic is another name for plastics that are made from petroleum. In addition, there are usually additives and chemicals. The advantage of plastic for the consumer: it is light, elastic, cheap and durable. But above all this longevity is a big problem for the environment. Because as soon as plastic begins to decompose, it does not dissolve completely, but the smallest plastic particles are formed - the so-called microplastics. This microplastic is eaten by fish and other sea creatures. The animals get sick and eventually die from the chemicals they contain, because petroleum and chemicals are known to be unfit for consumption. Scientists don't yet know exactly what happens when we eat sea creatures that have microplastics in them - but it can't be good.
A large part of the garbage in the sea are old fishing nets that are abandoned in the sea or lying on the seabed. An estimated 640,000 tons of so-called ghost nets are floating around in the sea. Fishing nets are also based on petroleum and therefore also release microplastics. Due to their extremely stable and tear-resistant production, fishing nets and fishing lines need about 600 years to decompose! In comparison, plastic bottles need about 450 years and thin plastic bags about 20 years. The fishing nets pose a major threat to all sea creatures on a daily basis, as they get caught in them and die in agony. Turtles and seals are most affected. It is estimated that 10,000 turtles have been killed by floating fishing nets around Australia alone in the last 10 years. Once caught, turtles and seals don't stand a chance.
But what does our riding leggings have to do with it? While researching a suitable material for our riding tights, we came across a manufacturer who works with an organization that uses divers to retrieve these problematic fishing nets from the sea and recycle them into a new fabric. The organization has collected 500 tons of fishing nets from the sea since 2013. Together with other textile waste, for example from the carpet industry, a new material is created from the fishing nets with the help of a complex process, for which nothing is used that is not already available. This material is ideal for our riding leggings and combines sustainability with incredibly good functionality. The finished material is called recycled polyamide.
You might be wondering why we don't use natural materials such as cotton for our riding leggings. Due to the short fibers, cotton is by far not as hard-wearing as polyamide. With the riding leggings, it was particularly important to us that they were durable and at the same time comfortable and breathable. The recycled polyamide combines all criteria. So why should we produce something new when we can also use something that already exists anyway? Why should we replant cotton when we have the chance to use recycled polyamide to make the seas a little cleaner and help a lot of animals?
The special thing about our riding leggings is definitely the recycled material and the associated positive influence on the sea and wildlife. But the riding leggings also leave nothing to be desired when it comes to functionality. It has mobile phone pockets on both sides, a lightweight full grip that gives you a good grip without sticking to the saddle and a comfortable high-waist waistband. The material of the riding leggings is elastic, hard-wearing, breathable, opaque, antibacterial and keeps you warm even in winter thanks to the fluffy inside.
We are super excited to see how you like the riding leggings and look forward to your feedback! For us it is a real heart project. We must act to ensure that there is not more garbage in the sea than fish. We can't just sit back and hope that things will get better at some point, because that's not going to happen. We must not look away, we must act. Of course, as a start-up we don't have a huge impact yet, but we're growing. We grow with every purchase and every support from you is incredibly valuable. So help us to make the sea a little bit cleaner.
At this point we would like to point out a documentary: "Blue". You can find them in the Arte Online Mediathek. A critical documentary about the current state of the world's oceans, which is very frightening. You can find the link in our sources.