Protect each other. Protect the ocean. That’s the philosophy behind our reusable and sustainable face masks and support frames.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our crews are finding more and more single-use PPE in the ocean during their daily cleanups. Single-use face masks are the most common type of pandemic-related waste we find, which is concerning because they pose a huge ingestion and entanglement risk for marine life, especially seabirds.
To help prevent pandemic litter, we’ve introduced two new products: our 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton face masks and face mask support frames that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, including 50% 4ocean Plastic™.
Eco-friendly face masks: Why we chose organic cotton
Did you know that polyester, nylon, and other synthetic fibers are made from plastic? Right now, these plastic-based materials, including clothes made from recycled plastic, account for about 60% of all the clothing sold worldwide. Unlike your dryer, most washing machines don’t have filters to catch the tiny plastic fibers shed by synthetic and recycled fabrics during the wash cycle.
In fact, microfibers are so tiny (less than 5mm long and smaller than a grain of rice) that they can pass through filters in most water treatment centers and enter the ocean in wastewater discharges. If they are captured by a filter, they often enter the environment in another sewage byproduct: fertilizer.
Microfibers are one of the biggest sources of microplastic pollution in the ocean and have been documented in alarming quantities in the Arctic and many other “pristine” environments around the world.
We chose to make all of our environmentally-friendly apparel products, including our reusable face masks, from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton because it’s a natural fiber that is produced with no toxins and won’t contribute to the devastating impact of microplastic pollution in our oceans. On top of that, this material is ultra lightweight and breathable, which means our eco-friendly face masks are also some of the softest and most comfortable masks on the market.
The Global Organic Textile Standard, or GOTS for short, is the highest standard for a finished organic textile because it doesn’t just regulate the cotton itself, but the social and environmental impact of the entire supply chain as well.
All of our organic cotton can be traced back to the farms in India where it was grown free from GMO seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxic chemicals. No toxic chemicals are used to harvest, gin, or clean our cotton and our printing process is free from heavy metals, formaldehyde, plastisol, and other toxins. From farm to finished product, our entire supply chain is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Face mask support frames made from recycled materials
Since the very beginning, it’s been our goal to develop a closed-loop manufacturing process that uses the materials our professional cleanup crews recover from the ocean to develop new and innovative products that fund our global ocean cleanup operation and support a growing movement to end the world’s reliance on single-use plastic. That means we’re always exploring new ways to recycle the ocean plastic our crews recover from the ocean each and every day.
We also know just how uncomfortable it can be to wear a mask, especially when you have to wear one for extended periods of time. Because wearing a mask is so important in stopping the spread of COVID, we want everyone to feel comfortable wearing a mask. That’s why we partnered with BreatheWire to manufacture our reusable and fully recyclable Face Mask Support Frames in the USA using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, including 50% recovered 4ocean Plastic™.
Our sustainable face mask support frames fit inside any non-medical mask to reduce skin contact and improve your mask-wearing experience. Once you try wearing a mask with a 4ocean Face Mask Support Frame, you’ll never want to wear your mask without one. Here’s why:
All of our products come with our One Pound Promise
Every 4ocean product you purchase funds the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines.
As a Certified B Corp, we believe that humanity should grow alongside nature, not at its expense. So every time you shop 4ocean, you’re investing in the future of our planet by funding the removal of trash that’s already polluting our oceans while supporting investments in research, development, innovation, and technology that will prevent more plastic from entering it. Shop our sustainable face masks and recyclable face mask support frames to pull a pound of trash from the ocean.