By Mike Templeman FOLLOW ON FORBES from forbes.com
I’m an entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about startups and marketing. I am also the founder of Foxtail Marketing, a digital demand generation firm that is one of the fastest growing agencies in the country. When I’m not working, writing, or speaking, I enjoy watching 80’s action movies and spending time with my family. You can reach me on Twitter or LinkedIn.
As I covered a month or so ago, Google’s Project Sunroof was a great example of a big company looking to change the world by helping the environment while making some money through a brilliant marketing and outreach campaign. Well, another company has stepped up to the plate and created a great way for a business to help the world while making a great product.
PuraKai is a sustainable clothing company that is releasing their newest product, the Beer Bottle Shirt. And if you couldn’t tell by the name of the product, it’s a shirt made from plastic beer bottles. They’ve recently launched a Kickstarter to bring their product to market. As this is a subject very near and dear to my heart, I felt compelled shed some light on this campaign.
If you haven’t heard, there’s a bit of a crisis going on in the world’s oceans. The plastic that we use in everything from water bottles to face creams makes its way through our garbage and sewer systems and can often end up in our water supplies. These plastics then make their way out to the ocean. Once there, they are caught in currents that concentrate them into these massive garbage patches. The plastic then breaks down to a microscopic level, is eaten by small fish, which is then eaten by larger fish, which are then eaten by humans. Meaning a lot of the toxins in plastic make their way back into our systems and our environment. And it’s becoming a major health hazard.
There are dozens of documentaries and studies on this matter if you want to dig deeper on the causes and solutions.
Similar to Google with their Project Sunroof, PuraKai has found a way to help clean the oceans while also making a profit. And to find the inspiration for his product PuraKai’s Co-Founder, Noel Huelsenbeck, went back to his roots as a surfer and created a line of apparel that uses used plastic bottles to make comfortable and – in my opinion – fashionable clothing.
”As a lifelong surfer the ocean has always been a huge focus in my life, what I’ve learned from participating in numerous beach clean ups is we need to take action today to protect our oceans,” says Noel Huelsenbeck. ”The Beer Bottle Shirt Project is just the latest in a long line of efforts to help keep our oceans clean, but it is one of my favorite, after all, the first step in the process is drinking beer! Each Beer Bottle bottle shirt and beanie keeps nearly 7 bottles out of a landfill or the ocean, so the more we sell, the more we can create awareness about the issue of plastics.”ÊÊÊ