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Quiksilver collaborates with Uluu to introduce seaweed-based plastic alternative

Quiksilver boardshorts unveiled a new feature: plastic-like wax combs crafted from seaweed by the Australian startup Uluu.

These wax combs mark the inaugural product derived from Uluu, a substance that mimics plastic but is sourced from seaweed instead of fossil fuels, offering an eco-friendly alternative that doesn’t release microplastics into the environment.

The product launch follows two years of dedicated research by Uluu, where they perfected a method to transform cultivated seaweed into a sustainable substitute for plastic. In a world grappling with a mounting plastics crisis, characterized by a doubling of plastic waste generation in the past two decades and a projected tripling by 2060, Uluu’s materials present a scalable solution. Not only can these materials replace plastics on a large scale, but they also contribute to mitigating global warming and rejuvenating the health of our oceans. The introduction of the ‘Made with Uluu’ wax combs signifies the debut of commercially available products from Uluu, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

Uluu co-founder and co-chief executive Dr Julia Reisser said the wax combs will be a gift with the purchase of the Quiksilver boardshorts. “They’re small, limited items, yet super meaningful,” she said. “They represent our first step towards replacing plastic with materials that are good for the world. “Having a plastic-like natural material that’s durable, yet recyclable and compostable, is incredibly exciting. It opens up a range of new possibilities in circular business models across many industries.”

Uluu uses a fermentation process, similar to brewing beer, which allows the company to maintain a clean production process. They have developed a versatile range of natural polymers called PHAs that can mimic the durability of plastic but have the added benefit of being biodegradable and free from fossil fuels. Uluu’s materials regenerate our climate and marine environments because they’re made from farmed seaweed, which removes carbon dioxide from the air and absorbs pollution from the ocean.    They also create sustainable jobs for coastal communities. Uluu co-founder and co-chief executive Michael Kingsbury said the wax combs are the first step in the company’s relationship with Quiksilver.   

“This release celebrates our multi-year agreement with this iconic Australian brand,” he said. “We’re now focused on working alongside Quiksilver to develop and commercialise ‘Made with Uluu’ apparel that’s natural and good for the environment, yet performs just as well as plastic textiles made from fossil fuels.”

Quiksilver brand director Andy Norling said Uluu aims to replace polyester clothing, without compromising on performance. “It’s inspiring work towards ending the outdoor industry’s reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.  “It’s stopping the release of persistent microplastics while apparel is being used and, ultimately, at the end of its life.” You can receive a ‘Made with Uluu’ wax comb when you purchase any Quiksilver Made Better Boardshort now.

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