Ocean Refresh: Turning Plastic From Oceans And Beaches Into Sustainable Footwear And Clothing

Ocean Refresh is a sustainable start up that partners with charities across UK and Brazil to remove plastic from oceans and beaches, and turns it into beautiful, sustainable footwear and clothing. 

The business has two main products: sneakers and flip flops. They’ve just launched their brand new sneaker collection, the ‘Wavecatcher,’ which are ‘Sneakers with Soul.’

After a very successful launch of their sustainable flip flops, the brand wanted to do more to reduce plastic pollution, and so they decided to design a brand new line of sneakers to support their mission.

Made from ocean waste, including ghost nets and plastic bottles (in collaboration with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE), the ‘Wavecatcher’ is the first sustainable sneaker you’ll actually want to wear. They’re made from 100% recycled plastic, and are breathable, durable and ethical.

It is estimated that over 100,000 marine animals such as turtles, dolphins, seals and whales, die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris. Not only does the brand make their products with 100% recyclable materials, but they’re also vegan, ethically sourced and organic, too.

Their sneakers are styled from revolutionary materials such as vegan woven polyester thread, with an air mesh lining made from recycled P.E.T and corn fibre, making them highly breathable, durable, fast drying, and they carry the Global Recycling Standard certification. 

Their soles are recycled rubber soles, and the laces are organic cotton, with an insole padding made from recycled cork and foam, and are then assembled with water-based glues. Ocean Refresh’s flip flops are an absolute must have if you want to to join the mission to defend our planet.

With a slim fit sole, made from their unique Oceatex™ carpet for extra comfort, the flip-flops are also: 

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  • Non-slip and water resistant.
  • Come with a lightweight ‘noodle’ microstructure.
  • Come with cushioned massaging.
  • Anti abrasive – outsoles do not mark any type of surface
  • Anti bacterial – their materials eliminate Funghi & bacterial odours.

Ocean Refresh was founded in 2019 by Bernardo Pedroso, and is the son of one of Brazil’s first female surfers, so a love of the ocean was instilled in him at an early age. 

With a childhood spent playing in the seas of Brazil’s iconic Itúana beach, the ocean was part of his everyday life, but later as he started to witness the scale of the destruction of the planet’s oceans, and the situation became intolerable to him. 

Bernardo felt compelled to take action and to play his part in turning the tide on this massive, yet solvable problem, diverting from his initial finance background, and instead – creating Ocean Refresh.

Since then, his start-up has helped to remove over 1 million plastic bottles from the oceans, has removed over 30,000kg of plastic from our oceans so far, and has secured 50 independent retailers lined up as stockists for this summer.

Founder Bernardo explained: ‘When I created Ocean Refresh, it wasn’t about the products. It was about the movement, the educational programmes, working with charities and educating the new generation about ocean plastic. That is why I created a sustainable brand. It’s about what we teach the future generations, how to shop and how to use the products they are buying, where it’s from, how it has been shipped and what transport has been used.’

Find out more here.