Sea waste has never looked so good: How Camira is turning sea waste into fabric for the good of the planet
At last months Stockholm Design Week environmental concerns were top of the agenda. From re-usable materials and information about the carbon footprint of products, the Scandinavian designers and brands didn’t shy away from this important conversation. Nor did the UK based Camira, who turned sea waste into fabric for the residential and contract markets.
The climate change crisis is looming over all aspects of modern life. While society becomes more engaged in the discussion and more action is called for, anxiety-related responses, as well as chronic mental health disorders, are becoming a more prominent aspect of society. This means efforts to promote and maintain sustainable production of goods and fabrics are now more important than ever. Of particular concern is the amount of plastic which is dumped into the ocean. Every year it is estimated that around 12 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the ocean, with 94% of all plastic waste finishing up on the ocean floors. Approximately 74% of that lies beneath the surface, posing a direct threat to marine life. At this years Stockholm Furniture Fair UK based Camira, partnering with the SEAQUAL initiative, unveiled their new fabric range created using plastic sea waste, with the aim to move towards a more sustainable future in the interior design industry.
The SEAQUAL initiative was launched to challenge plastic pollution and try to clean up the oceans. It aims to collaborate and engage with businesses across the globe, encouraging them to come together for a clean ocean, with the goal of cleaning up the ocean surfaces, the sea beds and all rivers, beaches, coastlines and estuaries. The initiative hopes to inspire customers to buy sustainable, recycled products containing upcycled marine plastics.
Based in Madrid SEAQUAL manufactures a 100% recycled polyester filament by recycling sea waste made of polyethylene terephthalate or PET. Founded in 2016, it was the first company to use fishing vessels and other oceanic cleaning apparatus to collect and upcycle plastic waste, by paying fishermen for the sea waste they collect. SEAQUAL fibre was the first product to be launched, a polyester yarn made from 100% recycled plastics. Thus, SEAQUAL is leading the way towards cleaner oceans and environmentally conscious textile industry.
Camira launched the brand-new fabric Oceanic at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair. Produced entirely from recycled plastic, it is a highly durable material that’s tough enough for both life on the sea and on the seats it is used to upholster. It is dyed using catatonic yarn and boasts a delicate pattern formed by the intricate weave of the fabric, which highlights both the colour and construction of it. In fact, a metre of Oceanic contains an amount of plastic and sea waste equivalent to twenty-five plastic bottles. Above all though, Camira’s new fabric is strong, sustainable, and has a high level of performance. It is therefore perfectly suitable for inclusion in a range of modern interiors.
This fabric comes in 16 distinct shades as Oceanic combines bold colours with neutral hues and soft pastel tones to give you a versatile and varied range of colours to choose from. Available shades include tones which echo the colours of the shoreline, as well as some bolder, on-trend options.
With the circular economy becoming more commonly discussed in design circles, at Stockholm Design Week at least. I hope that we will see more partnerships and products, that actively consider the environmental impact they will have. Initiatives that are committed to helping clean up the oceanic environment, help communities move towards a more sustainable way of life, and that promote the use of by-products or use recycled materials. Miraculously it seems these initiatives also develop appealing, beautiful sustainable products for everyday use.
The creation of Oceanic represents a decisive move by the textile industry towards having cleaner oceans and enjoying a more sustainable, environmentally conscious future in the years to come. What is more, both Camira and SEAQUAL continue to promote the SEAQUAL initiative in a further effort to build a more sustainable textile and design industry. Turning sea waste into fabric for use in our homes and offices is a hopeful step in the right direction. One that I hope that Camira and other fabric and furniture brands continue, developing beautiful products that people want to buy, whilst facing the climate change crisis head-on.
To read more of my coverage from Stockholm Design Week take a look here.