Swimwear made from recycled fishing nets is new hope in fight against marine litter

Innovative new partnership announced between Fat Face’s Foundation, Fourth Element and World Animal Protection

24th August 2017 London – The chosen charity of the international clothing brand Fat Face, the Fat Face Foundation, diving specialists Fourth Element, and global animal welfare charity World Animal Protection have announced an exciting new partnership to clean up our oceans. Fourth Element’s Ocean Positive swimwear, made from recycled marine plastics, is now available from the Fat Face website and selected stores, with proceeds from sales supporting World Animal Protection’s marine wildlife protection work.

The Fat Face Foundation and Fourth Element are members of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), an alliance spearheaded by World Animal Protection to find solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear (ghost gear) worldwide.



“We are hugely excited about this new partnership. The work that the World Animal Protection do to provide proactive solutions to international problems affecting our oceans and marine wildlife is not only essential but often life changing. We are proud to be part of it”, said Ade Heeley, Director, Fat Face Foundation.

Every year, more than one hundred thousand whales, dolphins, seals and turtles are caught in ‘ghost gear’ – abandoned, lost and discarded fishing nets, lines and traps which can take up to 600 years to decompose. The vast majority of this gear is made of plastics that take centuries to degrade. This ghost gear eventually breaks down into micro plastics and can enter the human body through the fish we consume.

Chiara Vitali, Sea Change Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection, said, “This partnership is a fantastic example of how members of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative are working together to find innovative ways to address a global issue. Animals caught in this incredibly durable fishing gear are often doomed to a prolonged and painful death, suffocating or starving over several months. Recycling the recovered nets into exciting new products shows how valuable this gear can be and encourages more people to get involved in reducing the amount of ghost gear entering our oceans.”

A staggering 640,000 tonnes of fishing equipment is left in our oceans each year – the equivalent of 52,000 London double decker buses.

The Ocean Positive swimwear line by Fourth Element uses ECONYL® – recycled Nylon from ghost gear, in its eye-catching line of bikinis, swimsuits and beachwear. Teams of divers and fishermen all over the world reclaim these nets, often working in extremely dangerous conditions. The nets are then recycled into ECONYL® before being knitted into Lycra® fabric for the Ocean Positive swimwear.

“The Ocean Positive range is a statement of intent, to do something meaningful to benefit the environment that we love and feel compelled to protect.” said Paul Strike, co-founder of Fourth Element. “We also wanted to address a requirement among our customers including ourselves, for a practical product that is comfortable under a wetsuit yet looks great as beachwear.”