“We need to change the way we interact with nature”
Tretorn and Naturkompaniet joins forces to enable a more sustainable brand-to-retailer experience – the Rain Jacket From The Sea is their latest pro-environmental innovation.
Did you know that approximately 650,000 tons of fishing net is believed to be adrift in our oceans today, dumped by ignorant fishing fleets? Fishing nets are made from the finest quality of nylon—plastic, that is—and takes around 600-1,000 years to dissolve in nature. To prevent a continuation of this hazardous phenomenon that’s endangering the whole eco system, Tretorn and Naturkompaniet have decided to take action.
Tretorn’s European Head of Communications, Fredrik Ekström, talks to us about the motives behind and results of the collaboration.
Tretorn’s partnership with Naturkompaniet is part of the Responsible Rainwear & Responsible Retailer initiative; within this initiative the Left Over Project and now the Rain Jacket From The Sea have been launched. What initiated this collaboration, and how are you working together?
– We had been working on a responsible initiative for quite some time before finally approaching Naturkompaniet. As we sat down with them to talk about responsibilities and our mutual love for the outdoors, we realized that due to the fact that we jointly control the whole value chain, we’re able to do more good if working together. So we teamed up with the ambition to create a more responsible, low-impact rainwear collection that can evolve over time.
– Within this collaboration, we’ve set up some guidelines that state what responsibility means to us. With these as a starting point, we’ve initiated a creative process during which we try to find out in what areas we can make a difference, while also making the innovative process more sustainable without creating new production or sales processes.
Why are collaborations that bridge the gap between brands and retailers important, and what difference can it make in terms of how we consume and live more sustainably?
– We believe that we need to change the way we interact with nature within the whole system, and that the individual efforts made by brands or retailers will not be enough. If we want to make a difference, we need to collaborate and find ways to create a more value driven business system throughout the whole chain, while also being respectful of the environment and its resources.
The Rain Jacket From the Sea is made from “ghost nets”: old fishing nets that have been left in the sea and that can ultimately get stuck in reefs, endangering the whole eco system. It’s obvious to say this is a very bad thing. How are these nylon nets actually collected and made into rain jackets?
– We first realized the fishing net problem when brainstorming to finding more responsible ways of sourcing nylon, since it doesn’t exactly grow wild in nature. Fishing nets are made out of the highest quality of nylon in the world, so we decided to explore the possibilities of recycling them—elongating their lives in the form of rainwear.
– We don’t actually collect the nets in the ocean, but act in a proactive way by working with a company called EcoAlf that informs the fishing fleet in Korea about the ghost net problem. They’re offering a payment for the nets to be discarded at designated places on dock, instead of out at sea. By doing this, we help prevent the creation of new ghost nets.
– When the nets have been collected, they’re separated by quality, cleaned up and grinded into pellets before being melted into liquid and turned into new thread. This process takes place in Korea, and when it’s done, the fabric is transported to our factories in China for production. We’ve chosen to do everything in Asia to minimize transportation.
Treton has set a goal for 50 percent of the rainwear collection to be included in the Eco Essentials initiative by 2020. What does this initiative stand for, and how are you working within it to achieve this goal?
– Since 2015 we’ve been working on a strategic platform to segue Tretorn into a more sustainable innovation process. The Eco Essentials initiative is a platform set up to change the way we do business—an innovation opportunity that’s been integrated into the company policies, processes and products.
– We want to be an inspiration and a future role model for how businesses can interact with nature and create a more circular process. We strongly believe in a process where nothing goes to waste and where products are meant to last, be reused and eventually recycled. Our plan is to scale up Eco Essentials, in order to deliver better solutions for our company, costumers and, off course, the planet.
How would you say the market for recycled and sustainable materials has developed, and how is Tretorn working to find or develop new sustainable fabrics and production processes today?
– I’d say the market is booming. However, it’s a bit hypocritical since the most sustainable piece of clothing is the one you keep and pass on for generations. We try to make products with a clean and timeless design that will last a long time, and our creative innovations team is continuously trying to come up with new ideas that are both commercially and ecologically driven.
– Regarding the search for new fabrics: We have a strong R&D team with a new Head of Products, Peter, who’s brought a lot of new knowledge and connections from around the world. They recently tried to make rubber boots out of dandelion, plant based neoprene and compostable jackets.
What is your prediction for the future of sustainable fashion, as well as actions and collaborations like these?
– I think the eco fashion industry will turn conventional—just like the eco food industry have. We’ll all learn to produce better and better products, with less and less environmental impact and with new and innovative materials. This will be an essential factor in order to survive. If you won’t adjust, you’ll probably find yourself standing on the side, watching the rest of the world pass you by.
Rain Jacket From the Sea
The limited edition collection is launching at Naturkompaniet.se and in selected Naturkompaniet stores on 31 March. The waterproof and breathable rain jacket, made from recycled fishing nets free from PVC and phthalates, comes in a unisex parka model (sizes XS-XL) and will be available in five ocean inspired colors: deep end black, gunwale red, kelp green, floater yellow and hull blue. The price is 2 000 SEK.
Read more about the Rainjacket From The Sea here.
This post is presented in collaboration with Tretorn.
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