How Outerknown Furthered Their Sustainability Efforts with Ocean Plastic Buttons from Oceanworks
World Champion surfer Kelly Slater had an inspiration, long before Oceanworks was created. Slater envisioned an apparel brand that had sustainability as its core DNA and together with creative visionary, John Moore, Outerknown was born.
Sourcing the bulk of their textiles from accredited sources, Outerknown was frustrated with the lack of innovation with the trims industry. Trims being; zippers, buttons, pulls and the like. As luck would have it, Oceanworks was on-boarding a manufacturer that specialized in custom tooling and injection molding of trims.
The team at Oceanworks quickly mobilized to present the value that we could bring to the table and soon enough, the world's first buttons made from ocean plastic were in market.
"Our journey as a company very much began with Outerknown taking a chance with us. We have been forever grateful for their thirst to take risks and be a bold and inspirational voice in the world of sustainable fashion." -Rob Ianelli, CEO, Oceanworks
Outerknown designers were used to picking trims from a book. Generally, these are giant catalogs of available trims. The process with Oceanworks differed in that we had the capabilities to help them create a new button from scratch. Partnering with an outside design agency, we helped create a design that worked for the HDPE (high-density-polyethylene) ocean plastic we recommended and also matched the particular design and finish aesthetics that remained important to the Outerknown design team.
Custom tools were cut to begin the iteration process and with our manufacturer network member, soon enough we had buttons to show Outerknown at the Outdoor Retailer Show.
"Partnering with Oceanworks was a great way to drive innovative solutions for Outerknown and further integrate sustainability into the brand." -Megan Stoneburner Azim, Director of Sustainability and Sourcing, Outerknown
Oceanworks and Outerknown moved rapidly to be first to market with the debut of the S.E.A. pants. By leveraging third party design services and also the eagerness of our manufacturing member to participate, the final result was rewarding for all those involved.
What started as a project for the S.E.A. legs pants quickly evolved into a number of garments in the Outerknown lineup that feature buttons made with ocean plastic supplied by Oceanworks. Each button, demonstrating a choice both from the Outerknown team and certainly from their customers, who seek to create change with sustainability at the heart of their buying decisions.