At #PlasticPatrol we love to share stories of people doing incredible things in the fight against plastic pollution. We spoke to the brains behind Riz board shorts about their #BottlesToBoardshorts campaign.
What is Riz Boardshorts all about?
The ethos behind the brand has always been to design ‘the most beautiful and environmental boardshorts in the world’. By only producing one product, men’s swim shorts, it has allowed us to us to perfect one thing. This pursuit of perfection is part of our ethos. What we’ve realised along the journey, is that perhaps a brand can also inspire positive change – both a greater appreciation for the natural world and also a shift in consumer behavior.
What compelled you to quit your jobs to launch this?
I used to work for global fashion and sportswear brands and was continually frustrated by the lack of creativity and the way that business was done. I realised there was a need for something better and so set out to build this. Ali my business partner and I were originally school friends, and came together over this idea at a reunion. Ali was working in finance and also frustrated, wanting to focus more on ‘good business’. We are now five or so years into our small business and both working on it full time.
What changes can people make in their day to day lives to combat single use plastic consumption?
I think it’s put it perfectly in the blog post ‘ 8 ways to use less plastic’:
The greatest challenges we feel though is getting people to actually do this. Most people are lazy and changing their attitude is a slow process.
We’re going to be releasing a reusable metal water bottle soon to inspire part of this change.
What’s next for Riz?
With the rise of plastics in our oceans and the simple fact that our shorts are made from plastic and designed to worn in the sea, we feel it makes poetic sense to use these very plastic bottles found on beach cleans to make our own material. Not only do we get to help protect what we love, but in turn create a positive solution from a plastic problem.
So this is why we have launched our #Bottlestoboardshorts project and are still in the collecting stages of getting bottles. Because we are based in London, we will be focussing a lot of beach cleans along the Thames; not only is this easier for us to get to, it also stems the problem closer to the source, stopping the bottles from drifting out into the sea. By tracking where the plastic bottles are collected, we know exactly where the eventual yarn has comes from. Adding Provenance, transparency and a story to the fabric, as well as connecting it back to it’s source and the people involved is truly exciting.