O’Neill was born from the Pacific Ocean in 1952, the brainchild of Californian surfer Jack O’Neill. Since its creation, it has been at the forefront of action sports innovation; delivering the wetsuit, surf leash and first-ever stitchless boardshort to progressive generations of ocean users.
But now the very oceans and waves that created O’Neill are under threat from a tsunami of plastic waste, with an estimated 8 million tons flooding the world’s seas each year. This tragedy is the inspiration for O’Neill Blue – Our Ocean Mission; an initiative to produce sustainable surfwear using high performance eco-threads by Bionic, which contain recycled beach plastic.
“Without clean oceans and clean waves we would not exist as an organization. It is our responsibility as an organization founded in the surf to help save our oceans. Just as Jack O’Neill created the Sea Odyssey in 1996 with the goal of educating students on the importance of the relationship between the living sea and the environment, we wish to continue to create programs that can bring about real change.”
The first O’Neill Blue Spring Summer collection consists of boardshorts, walkshorts and T-shirts and is estimated to have removed 200,000 bottles from beaches and shorelines worldwide.
The O’Neill Blue program may be a drop in the ocean when it comes to eliminating beach and ocean plastic, but O’Neill hopes that the program will inspire consumers and others in the surf industry to take their lead and put the problem of plastic choked seas at the forefront of fellow ocean users minds.
“The idea of taking something that would otherwise be waste or stuff that’s polluting our beaches and then incorporating it back into the lifecycle of our clothes is a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable planet,” says Kahi Pacarro, the director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. “As surfers we are on the frontline and we need to be the ones that stand up for change,” says O’Neill Ambassador and former pro surfer Tai Graham.
O’Neill Blue – Our Ocean Mission helps save the seas from plastic!