Hopaal, a bikini made from plastic waste and fishing nets


Turning a fishing net into a bikini. Hopaal has taken on the challenge of cleaning up the ocean and recycling waste to make clothes.

From the fishing net to the bikini

What would you say to wearing a bikini made out of a fishing net this summer? Strange, perhaps, but not completely so. Hopaal has come up with a project to take some of the endless plastic waste from the ocean, recycle it and give it a new lease of life. A challenge the company has now pulled off. The young brand is based in Biarritz, France. They have come up with a collection of new garments made from clothing offcuts and recycled plastic. T-shirts, beanies, jackets or swimsuits: the range of items on offer may not be vast, but the aim is to protect the environment by means of ethical fashion.

A local process

“Not all plastics can be recycled in the same way,” explains Clément Maulavé, Hopaal’s co-founder. So how does it work in practical terms? Several stages are involved. The first is to collect plastic from the sea. Then comes sorting and cleaning. The third phase is to transform the plastic into granules and then thread. Lastly, the thread is woven to make swimsuits, among other things. A large number of people take part in the process. The partnerships set up with committed companies (to collect the waste) help to make this environmental, social and local project viable.

Circular economy

For the bikinis, for example, the French company is working closely with Econyl, an Italian firm committed to the circular economy. To make the bikinis, disused fishing nets are collected in northern Italy and turned into a resource. In terms of the impact on climate change, the two-piece swimsuits made from recycled plastic help to reduce C02 emissions by 80%.

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