Men’s shorts made from recycled fishing gear

Grundens, the go-to brand for outer wear and foul-weather gear for mariners around the world, is using recycled plastics from old fishing gear for a new line of rugged casual wear, and the first batch contains nets from Cordova.  

“Cordova is moving full steam ahead. The gill net fleet is pretty dialed in and seines are made out of the same type of plastic, so those two gear types can be recycled together.”     

Nicole Baker is founder of Net Your Problem which has helped jumpstart fishing gear recycling programs in Alaska since 2017.

Baker connected Grundens with the Copper River Watershed Project which collects the nets and prepares them for shipping to Europe, where they are recycled into a trademarked yarn called ECONYL made from fishing nets.

The first items in Grundens NetSource Collection are men’s shorts and women’s capri leggings, but more are in the works. Corey Lowe is a Grundens’ spokesman,.

“Right now, it’s just a small part of our overall collection but we’re definitely thinking about how to put it into foul weather gear. We also have some footwear coming that’s made out of recycled nylon. So while it’s just a small part of our overall collection, it’s definitely growing. And we seek to continue to expand it, because we believe in it.”  

Lowe says Grundens encourages others to join the movement.

“We want more and more products to be made with recycled fibers, and we want more and more plastic to come out of the ocean. So whether we’re doing it or our competitors, what we want is for more plastics to end up in the recycling supply chain. So we see it as a rising tide lifts all boats kind of thing.”

Grundens hopes more fishermen will opt for recycling.

“We’re aware that sometimes it’s easier to dispose of a net in other ways and we want to encourage them to dispose of it correctly. And then hopefully  wear a product from us later on that has some amount of their net in it. It’s kind of a cool  thing to think ‘hey, my net is now hanging off my shoulders as a jacket’ or something along those lines.”

Grundéns also is now using 100% biodegradable packaging whose raw material is glucose from corn starch. By June 2021 all products will be shipped in compostable Eco-packaging.  “Grundéns encourages other brands to follow suit and increase the rate at which plastic poly bags are eliminated from the apparel supply chain,” a press report said.