EcoFins is a surfboard fin created from upcycled plastic bottles caps. The project was launched by a young surf-obsessed couple after a trip to Indonesia opened their eyes to the tremendous amount of waste in the ocean, on the beach and on land. Through lots of R&D, they've proven that it is possible to create a product that is both performance-oriented and good for our planet.
Between two surf sessions, co-founder Luise spilled the beans on all the hard work and fun things going on at Five Oceans.
The ecoFins (light bulb not included)
How do you take your coffee in the morning?
I have two coffee rituals that depend on the surf conditions.
One is in bed, relaxing and checking the news. In this case, I'll take it filtered and strong, with a sip of milk
If the waves are showing up – the coffee goes in my reusable cup and I'll be checking the surf. The best, however, is when there is still some coffee left when you get back from surfing.
Where is the best place you’ve ever surfed your ecoFins?
Serangan, Bali or Lombok.
Or around here [Byron Bay], when the waves are pumping. Like this morning after cyclone Debbie.
Where do you find the bottle caps required to create ecoFins?
Bali and on the other Islands in Indonesia. We also use Polypropylene (from packaging). We focus on bottle caps as an example to explain the process and make it easier to imagine.
What was the toughest obstacle your team faced during the design process?
Creating a performance material from rubbish. The sorting and cleaning processes are crucial to achieving a high-quality material. Our partners are doing a great job but working with recycled materials is always challenging.
Do you have any other ideas for products made of plastic bottle caps?
We are working on several product ideas and collaborations. You can always get the latest updates on our social media. Some things need to be kept behind the curtains ;-)
Who inspires you?
Patagonia is a huge inspiration for us. The environmental decisions they take are important and bold. They prove that businesses can be successful by acting responsibly.
I look up to anyone who pursues their dreams and makes things happen.
Surfing with heaps of rubbish in Bali, Indonesia
How do you feel about the current surfboard industry? Do you think surfboards brands are taking the appropriate steps to reduce their carbon footprint?
We are proud to consider ourselves one of the pioneers. We're really happy to see a lot happening. Things could always go faster but the consumers also need to adjust their expectations in terms of performance and pricing.
Finally, what is “The Sculpture” and why was it created?
We now call it “The Beast,” haha! The ecoFin Sculpture was created to raise awareness about ocean pollution and was launched during the Surf Festival in Byron Bay this year. 13,000 bottle milk caps have been collected by local businesses and cafes over 12 weeks. The actual construction took a few weekends and after hours. Find out more at http://five-oceans.co/sculpture/
Thank you so much for doing this. Where can people learn more about you?
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