By Erin Durbin-Sherer
We were thrilled to be given the chance to interview Jim Standing, one of the co-founders of Fourth Element, so he could tell us all about the Ocean Positive Swimwear collection in his own words. Read on to find out for yourself how Fourth Element is making a product that not only thoughtfully meets the needs of its target audience, but really does live up to its claims of environmental custodianship and sustainability.
DeeperBlue.com: How did Fourth Element get involved with using reclaimed nylon for this line? Whose idea was it?
Jim Standing: We had been considering a swimwear line for some time – after all, all divers wear swimwear under their wetsuit, unless they are very brave, and a lot of the swimwear that was out there was not designed with use under a wetsuit in mind. At a technical diving conference, we found out about teams of guys bringing “Ghost” fishing gear to the surface for it to be recycled and we basically were inspired to find out if we could use this material.
DB: How did you move it from the idea phase into reality? What kinds of challenges did you face in getting these garments made?
JS: A bit of research led us to Aquafil – the company that was recycling the nylon portion of these nets. They were producing a yarn called Econyl which was ideal for making Lycra based fabrics. A quick conversation with one of the fabric mills we work with established that this was the perfect yarn for us. So now it was a case of testing fabrics and designing products.