Blog Home

Why marine plastic?

Dear community, 

Marine plastic is a design problem.

For 100 years, we’ve treated plastic like a temporary material. Nine of the top 10 items found during beach cleanups are plastics designed to be used just once! Single-use plastics fulfill their purpose for a few minutes, and are then tossed into a landfill or the ocean where they last forever.

At the same time, our current global infrastructure is insufficient to recover and recycle this huge volume of plastic waste. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that 54% of plastics are landfilled or incinerated and 32% leaks into our environment, including marine environments. Ultimately, only 14% of plastics end up recycled.

So what’s an optimist to do?

Researchers and non-profits agree that reducing single-use plastic and intercepting plastic before it ends up in the environment are the most important ways to minimize the stream of plastic entering our waterways. Upon reaching the ocean, plastic breaks into smaller pieces or sinks to the sea floor. While I’m always in support of applying creative and innovative solutions to cleaning up our oceans, the best thing that we can do is to stop plastic from reaching the ocean in the first place.

Rothy’s is helping to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our waterways by supporting plastics collection in communities that lack comprehensive waste management and recycling infrastructure. Through our partners, we collect plastics within 30 miles of coastlines—the areas where plastics are at the highest risk of ending up in oceans—and give them new life. Marine plastic is blended with Rothy’s signature thread (made from recycled plastic water bottles), to create our washable, 3D knit bag collection. Plastic is a durable material, and we believe it can be transformed beyond single-use into fashionable and sustainable products that are built to last, such as our slip on sneakers 

Through our newest material innovation, Rothy’s is supporting solutions to clean up our oceans—and making a statement that the planet we live in is one worth protecting. 

—Saskia van Gendt, Head of Sustainability

More Stories

Meet the ultimate father-son duo.

We’ve been feeling a lot of community love lately, and we can’t get enough of celebrating you. That’s why we’re spotlighting Rick and Jerry—a father-son duo who share a love...
Read more

Introducing the Collector’s Edition.

​​It's time to make room in your shoe circle. Introducing Rothy’s Collector’s Edition, a limited release of special colors and patterns in some of our best selling styles. Our favorite...
Read more

Imagine what a shoe can do.

Our new campaign is inspired by you, the community who started the Rothy’s ripple effect.  After all, you’ve shown us our shoes are more than just something you simply wear...
Read more

Made to last.

We believe in crafting products that are built to last. Part of designing for circularity is creating shoes and bags that stand the test of time, so you can enjoy...
Read more