Stab Magazine | Billabong's Entire Boardshort Line (From Here On Out) Will Be Made From Single Use Plastics

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Billabong’s Entire Boardshort Line (From Here On Out) Will Be Made From Single Use Plastics

Come all ye cynics!

style // Mar 13, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You’d be forgiven for switching to cynical mode on hearing “plastic” mentioned in a marketing campaign…again. 

Yes, it’s the time of the great plastic about turn, where companies around the globe—who’ve been making barn-loads for decades by using inexpensive plastic for everything—suddenly profess to give a hoot about the environment in a bid to sell more landfill-fodder on the back of the PR hit…

Now that we got that out of our system(s), let’s remember that Bong came out with their first pair of recycled trunks over a decade ago. So kudos on the long game.


Phew, we can move on to Bong’s latest boardshort campaign, which is way less ambiguous than the usual “we’re partnering with (see: throwing tax-deductible coin at) some charity you’ve never heard of, and together we’re going to clean up the ocean!” spiel you come across. It’s called the Billabong Recycler, they’ve just implemented across the manufacturing of all their trunks (first 100% range Spring ’19), and it’s simple: you take plastic bottles, and make boardshorts.

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Now they’re making the process universal, which is certainly better than nothing as far as your footprint whilst still manufacturing is concerned. The process is neat. Bong’s manufacturing locales intercept PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles between the use phase and the landfill phase, and then put them through a process that turns them into chips. The chips then go through a number of fine “extrusion” (the method used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile) processes that yields a type of yarn. The yarn’s then spun with the other secret ingredients that make a pair of Bong trunks, and there you have it. A more-eco-than-usual pair of surfing shorts.

One of the finest boardshort-horses in the biz, Mr Ethan Ewing.

The cool thing here is that rather than being a one off marketing ploy, Bong is introducing this across the board. From the Spring range on, all their trunks will be made from this stuff. Bong VP Creative Brad Lancaster admits that the brand has “a long way to go,” but explains that it’s not going to stop them from trying. “It’s a long journey we’re on, but we’re optimistic we can continue to improve and make a difference,” he says. “We have a pipeline of sustainable initiatives across not only the products that we make but the way we run our business.”

You know you’re getting on when you start getting lapped by trends. My two favourites from the above rack (but a sample of the entire Bong fleet, which by the way is very tasteful) are the turquoise pair on the left, and the Keith Haring style navy ones in the middle. Both for nostalgic reasons: had a pair of turquoise Curl trunks around the same time I tried my first ecstasy tablet, and a similar pair of Mambo rash-makers back when, well, Mambo was still a thing. Strange memories on this cloudy Monday.

If you’re in need of some new trunks that are slightly lighter on the conscience, then dive in here. 


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