When fishing nets end up in your Patagonia jackets

In partnership with Bureo, Patagonia has developed clothing made from used fishing nets, collected from local fishermen on the coast of South America.

A Patagonia cap visor and fishing nets. On the surface, there is nothing that would bring these two products together. It is the NetPlus thread that is the link between the visor of the cap you are wearing and the fishing net. Produced by the company Bureo, the recycled nylon NetPlus is made from unusable fishing nets and recovered from fishing communities in South America. 

On clothes rather than in the ocean

It is with this great recycled raw material that Patagonia has developed several products such as anorakss, the parkass, the jackets or caps. The brand is also helping the development of NetPlus material by supporting Bureo since 2014 via its investment fund (Tin Shed Ventures).

And it is an understatement to say that there is a lot of raw material to recover with these unusable fishing nets that often end up polluting the oceans rather than in recycling centers. This material is one of the most harmful forms of marine pollution, with scientists estimating that more than 650,000 marine animals are killed or seriously injured each year by fishing gear.

A complete cycle from fisherman to consumer

In concrete terms, the fishing nets are first collected from South American fishermen. More than 50 fishing communities are currently participating in this program throughout Chile, Argentina and Peru. All of them are paid for each net recovered. The nets are then sorted, cleaned and cut up in Chile.

Transformed into recycled nylon 100 % granules (the famous NetPlus), this material then becomes fibers, components or molded plastic products. Any company can then purchase it for use in the manufacture of various objects or equipment. NetPlus is also certified by an independent organization as a Global Recycle Standard (GRS), which guarantees recycled textiles with respect to environmental and social criteria. Only products containing at least 20% of recycled material are eligible for GRS certification.

By using the NetPlus material since 2020 for part of its range, Patagonia has already diverted 35 tons of used plastic from the oceans. The goal is to gradually integrate this material in a wider range of products of the brand.