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FAQ

2. Does the recycled material make my backpack less durable than if it had been made with new plastic?

  • Basically, the quality of the material in the manufacture of backpacks from recycled ocean bound plastic is a challenge. Due to environmental influences such as solar radiation or salty sea water, the material loses its quality, can become brittle and then only be recycled in a correspondingly inferior quality. This often occurs with stiff fabrics. Unlike other backpack brands, we use a flexible but abrasion-resistant fabric that has been developed for us, which does not break and is therefore very durable.

3. Why do you focus on the oceans? What about other environmental issues?

  • To stop littering the oceans has a multitude of positive effects on our planet. We protect marine life that for example gets caught in plastic waste or ingest plastic as supposed food, then cannot digest it and die on a “full stomach”. But we also protect ourselves - because we ingest microplastics from the oceans through the food chain.
     
    Researchers also suspect that microplastics in the nutrient cycle of algae have negative effects on the climate. Because: Algae - more precisely phytoplankton - use sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to produce organic material in the photosynthesis process. This is what they feed on. Researchers fear that microplastics as supposed food inhibits this process. That could have enormous effects on our climate, because what many do not know: The phytoplankton in the oceans use about as much carbon dioxide as the land plants on the continents. Hence, it plays an important role in regulating our climate.
     
    Our recycling approach not only helps to keep the oceans clean and this marine ecosystem intact. Recycling also helps to reduce greenhouse gases overall and thus protect our climate. Because: one ton of recycled plastic saves 2 tons of crude oil and up to 1.6 tons of CO2, which would be used in the production of new plastic.
     
    Our high quality standards in materials and craftsmanship ensure that our backpacks and bags have a long life ahead of them. This saves resources and the environment. "Don't buy more, buy better" has been our philosophy since inception.
     
    We also save CO2 through our regional supply chain: all steps from plastic waste collection to recycling, yarn production, weaving to the final bag production take place regionally in India.
     
    In addition, we promote an understanding of garbage as a valuable source of raw materials among the Indian population. The fact that we pay people to collect rubbish leads to a rethink which in turn counteracts the indifferent disposal of rubbish in the environment.

4. Why do you use Ocean Bound Plastic and not fish the plastic out of the sea?

  • If cost weren't an issue, much more plastic would be recycled on earth. We want to make the greatest possible positive impact for our oceans and the environment by recycling ocean plastic. There are two main goals for us:

    1. We want to stop littering our oceans;

    2. We want to offer a good product at a price that is affordable for everyone.

     

    Only then will the amount of backpacks and bags sold create a real effect on our planet.

     

    Plastic waste that is today lying on the banks of rivers or beaches and is relatively inexpensive to collect (this is the so-called "Ocean Bound Plastic"), will be on the ocean ground tomorrow, where it can only be recovered with a great deal of effort and expense. Isn’t it smarter to collect the waste today then?

     

    In addition, plastic waste that has swam in the sea for a long time loses its quality due to environmental influences such as solar radiation or salt water and cannot be recycled so well for the production of a high-quality bag. That also drives up costs.

     

    With our approach of using ocean bound plastic, we achieve ocean protection at lower costs. These lower costs we pass on to our customers in the form of lower sales prices.

    With this approach we achieve our goals 1 and 2 and thus the greatest possible impact on our planet.

5. Where does the plastic for my Fitz & Huxley come from?

  • In the spirit of a regional approach that reduces transport routes and thus the emission of greenhouse gases, our clean-up has to be in India, where our backpacks and bags are manufactured.
     
    For our clean-up on the delta of the Netravati River on the Indian Ocean, we have teamed up with the NGO Plastics for Change, which has been fighting against plastic pollution in India for many years.

6. Why is the certification of the Ocean Bound Plastic supply chain so important?

  • There is a lot of marketing buzz out there and the claims can be misleading. In addition, strict guidelines for material suppliers are necessary in order to rule out black sheep. The NGO Zero Plastic Oceans has therefore created a certification standard that defines what "ocean plastic" or "ocean bound plastic" is and the conditions under which its recycling has positive impact on our oceans. In addition, Zero Plastic Oceans has established control standards (such as the traceability of the origin of plastic waste) along the entire supply chain. To ensure that every part of the supply chain adheres to its obligation to comply with the standard, the entire value chain, from the first piece of plastic waste to the shipping of the product to our customers, is audited. This is where Control Union comes into play, taking on this control as an independent, neutral organization.
     
    We are proud to have built the world's first fully certified Ocean Bound Plastic supply chain for bags and backpacks.

7. How do you ensure fair wages and good working conditions?

  • We don't just want to produce beautiful, high-quality and functional backpacks and bags, we also want to act in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Therefore our production is SEDEX and SA8000 certified. These renowned standards ensure good working and social conditions in our supply chain and the processes involved, monitored by an independent body. You can find out more about our production here.
     
    Furthermore, our clean-up not only helps to protect the oceans, but also offers poor people a regular income. Many people in India are illiterate or have not learned a trade. Our partner, the NGO Plastics for Change, combats two problems - the littering of the seas and extreme poverty - with one solution: collect plastic waste and earn money with it.

8. Why do you recover an average of 2.5 kg of plastic waste when your backpacks only weigh about 0.9 kg?

  • The big challenge in recycling plastic is that it is often not sorted (for example, different composites are put together in a packaging) and that the plastic loses its quality due to environmental influences such as solar radiation or salty sea water. That means: not all of the plastic waste we collect can be recycled into a backpack. Only certain types of plastic in the right quality are suitable for this. Of course, the remaining waste does not end up in the ocean, but is recycled for the manufacture of lower-quality products or disposed of properly.

9. What makes my Fitz & Huxley so special?

If you have read the other answers to the FAQ, then you already know what makes the Fitz & Huxley OCEAN collection something special and ground breaking. We summarize it again for you:
 
- A sustainable product for everyone: sustainable products are usually more expensive or even really expensive. That makes sustainable action a luxury that not everyone can afford. We don't want that for our OCEAN collection! We can only save our planet if everyone can switch to sustainable products. That is why we are working with an innovative, cost-efficient approach to recycling Ocean Bound Plastic (see FAQ number 3).
- Protecting our planet: protecting the oceans means protecting the planet. Plastic or microplastics in our oceans have a variety of negative effects on marine animals and us humans. But especially on the marine ecosystem and thus global warming (see FAQ number 2).
- Garbage as a valuable raw material: in our profit-oriented world, producing “new” is often cheaper than recycling or repairing. Companies often do not have to carry cost for adverse effects on our environment. We want to lead the way and show that cost-effective recycling is possible.
- Certification and verifiability: our promise to you and our planet is certified and controlled. We are proud to be the world's first backpack brand with a fully certified supply chain, controlled by an independent organization (see FAQ number 5).
- Helping people to help themselves: the supply chain for recycled Ocean Bound Plastic we have set up with our partners is the first of its kind in India. In terms of modern supply chains and production capabilities, India has so far been mostly defeated in competition with its rival China. In India, the handicraft of bag making is still very traditional. We want to change that! Together with our partners, we are moving forward and initiating a development process in India.
 
By paying people to collect rubbish, plastic waste suddenly gains in value and hopefully in the long term will lead to a rethinking of the indifferent disposal of waste by Indian society.

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