For a group of Spanish fishermen who spend their days trawling the Mediterranean, ocean plastic pollution is never out of sight or mind: Every netful of fish they haul into their boats also contains a sizable catch of trash. And while they used to sort out the fish from the garbage, keeping the former and throwing back the latter, brands like Gant are helping convince them to keep the trash they find out of the oceans by incentivizing the collection of plastic.
Through a partnership with Seaqual, Gant is launching a new line of products that feature fabric made with upcycled plastic gathered by these fishermen. The shirts are part of Gant's "Beacons Project," a new initiative that seeks to integrate greater sustainability into the preppy, coastal aesthetic for which it is known.
"Through [the] Beacons Project we are launching an entirely new process of creating beautiful products with a conscious, sustainable approach, which will further grow and evolve over time," said Gant CMO Brian Grevy in a release. Grevy's goal is to see more innovative sustainable materials worked into all of Gant's lines in the future.
Recycled fabrics aren't the only step Gant is taking toward water conservation. The brand also announced a partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting water sources from pollution, in January of this year. Gant's funding contributions are intended to help Waterkeeper Alliance expand its recovery facility and operations in Costa Rica.
By incorporating ocean plastics into its products, Gant joins brands like G-Star Raw, Adidas and Stella McCartney. And while some may associate recycled textiles with synthetic-feeling performance gear, Gant's cottony-soft shirts are proof that recycled materials don't have to mean compromising on quality and comfort.
Gant's Beacon's Project line is available for purchase starting today in stores and online.