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Fourth Element and Fat Face Launch Ocean Positive Swimwear Range

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Photo: Daan Verhoeven/Fourth Element

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 'OceanPositive' 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.

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Hawaiian monk seal caught in abandoned fishing tackle. Photo: Michael Pitts/naturepl.com

'We are hugely excited about this new partnership,' said Ade Heeley, director of the Fat Face Foundation. '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.'

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, mostly made of plastics which can take centuries to degrade. When it does, as with many other forms of plastic, ghost gear eventually breaks down into minuscule particles known as 'microplastics', from where they begin to enter the human food chain through the fish and other marine life we consume.

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A juvenile grey whale is breaching whilst entangled in a lobster trap line (Photo: World Animal Protection)

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. Teams of volunteer divers such as those from the Ghost Fishing Foundation, Ghost Fishing UK and Cornwall-based group Fathoms Free work to reclaim these nets, which can then be recycled as a high-quality Nylon yarn known as ECONYL®. In turn, the ECONYL® is knitted into Lycra fabric, used by Fourth Element in its eye-catching line of bikinis, swimsuits and beachwear. 

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The OceanPostive range features swimwear, leggings and hydroskins (Photos: Luke Inman / Fourth Element)

'The OceanPositive 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.'

The OceanPositive range is available to purchase from Fat Face and Fourth Element's online stores.

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