It all started with Dutchman Pascal Van Erp.

Pascal — a passionate wreck diver — couldn’t help but notice that the North Sea wrecks he visited were covered in nets. These nets were “ghost fishing.”

First Lady of the Oceans, Dr Sylvia Earle inspects a Fourth Element Ocean Positive Rash Guard

“Ghost Fishing” is the term given to what happens when an abandoned fishing net, snagged on reef or wreck, continues to trap marine wildlife. It is estimated that up to 640,000 tonnes of nylon fishing gear lurks beneath the ocean, and more is added daily.

One day on a dive, Pascal recovered some net. This small act soon grew into a team in the Netherlands actively recovering disgarded and trapped nets. Today a number of divers from Global Underwater Explorers are involved worldwide with this dangerous, demanding and hazardous pursuit. They are part of the highly successful “Ghost Fishing Project” where the recovered fishing gear is recycled into usable, knittable nylon.

Enter stage left Fourth Element, the British thermal underwear manufacturer. Fourth Element has “closed the loop” on recycling by utilising this fabric to create a range  of garments. It turns the “cradle-to-grave” design concept on its head — now “grave-to-cradle” — thus creating a totally new product from the waste polluting our diving environment.

Jim Standing of Fourth Element explaining the concept of Ocean Positive to Dr Sylvia Earle

The garment range debuting at DEMA 2014 is called “Ocean Positive” and includes a line of active swimwear and rash guards made from this recycled nylon. Practical and beautiful designs made this a great garment for wearing underneath a wetsuit or on its own.  The collection includes three bikini styles, a one-piece women’s swimsuit style and two styles of men’s costumes; classic briefs and the Rio “Daniel Craig” tight shorts.

The range will not be available to divers until Spring 2015. Ocean Positive is being officially launched on 25th April 2015, World Earth Day!

The new Ocean Positive Range