Six innovators in the Plus X community keeping plastic out of the ocean 

This World Oceans Day, we celebrate six innovative brands in the Plus X community who are actively creating solutions to the world's plastic problem. With an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans every year, there has never been a more pressing time to protect the biodiversity of our oceans. From swimwear made from fishing nets to tech products made from “unrecyclable” plastic waste. Here are six innovators creating a wave of impact for our oceans.

Ruby Moon

Brighton based Ruby Moon are the world’s only not-for-profit swim and activewear brand. They transform ocean waste into beautiful Gym to Swim clothing and donate 100% into microloans for women entrepreneurs globally. So far, their efforts have supported 1200 women and their families to find a route out of poverty. 

Ruby Moon is partnered with Healthy Seas, an NGO that collects ghost fishing nets from the oceans, protecting its biodiversity. Using fabric technology, Ruby Moon processes the collected nets and post-consumer waste into a regenerated yarn. The result is a high-quality, durable material. Using this material, they then design and manufacture each piece according to Circular Economy and slow fashion principles. 

Ruby Moon are also proud to have incorporated all 17 SDG Goals into their practices. You can read more about this incredible endeavour here.  


MarinaTex is a home compostable alternative to plastic film made from waste from the fishing industry. Founded by Plus X Brighton member and Plus X Disruptors competition winner Lucy Hughes as part of her undergraduate degree. Since graduating, MarinaTex attracted a lot of attention. Lucy’s innovation has won the James Dyson Award and the D&AD Future Impact Award and has been nominated for a Beazley Design of the year award. Lucy has also sat as an innovation panellist at the UN’s Fisheries Symposium in 2019 in Rome. 

MarinaTex is a versatile material that can be an alternative to plastic in a variety of applications. From bags to single-use packaging, MarinaTex has a variety of different applications. The transparent film is well suited for packaging and will biodegrade in a soil environment. The organic formula does not leach harmful chemicals and can be consumed, causing no harm to wildlife or humans.

Through a partnership with MCB Seafoods in Newhaven, MarinaTex has discovered various waste streams to work with, including offal, blood, crustacean & shellfish exoskeletons, fish skins & scales. It took over 100 experiments, but it became apparent that the fish skins and scales had the most potential locked up in them due to their flexibility and strength enabling proteins.

Find out more about MarinaTex.

Chip[s] Board 

Central Research Laboratory Accelerator Alumni, Chip[s] Board, create revolutionary bioplastics made from food waste. Their circular economy model takes an abundant waste stream from food corporate McCain Foods. They turn the waste into truly beautiful bioplastic that performs the same as conventional plastics whilst being biodegradable and recyclable post use.

Their headlining material Parblex™ is a translucent pure or fibre reinforced bioplastic with incredible surface finish and durability for fashion and interior design. Chip[s] Board designed Parblex to be a “Plug and Play” solution. This means that users can work with it instantly, making it easy for companies to switch to more sustainable alternatives. It is compatible with injection moulding, 3D printing, milling and other industrial processing techniques.

One of Chip[s] Board’s recent users is the fashionable eyewear brand Ace & Tate, who are using Parblex to design a sustainable collection of frames. Plus X’s Better World Collective recently gathered ambassadors from Chip[s] Board, Ace & Tate and McCain Foods to hear about their circular innovation journey. Read the article here. 



Gomi Design are a sustainable design studio based in Brighton. Every year, the world throws out 150 billion kilos of flexible plastic waste. Gomi takes this “unrecyclable” plastic and repurposes it into a material. They then use it to create earth-friendly, sustainable tech products. 

Entering the design world with the world’s first Portable Speaker made from ‘non-recyclable trash, Gomi are leading the way as a consumer tech brand putting sustainability at the forefront of design. They are passionate about turning valueless waste into long-living circular products people will love for generations. 

Gomi source their raw materials from waste streams that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated. They work with local companies, large global corporations, and recycling companies to recycle waste material, which they can then process into their products.

 Gomi has a membership at Plus X Brighton to use the workshop facilities to prototype and experiment with new designs. 

Get your sustainable Gomi Design tech products.  


Biophilica is a material innovation company solving the plastic problem with leather alternatives. Perceived to be the kinder, vegan option; PU or PVC synthetic leathers are not the answer. They add to our plastic problem because they cannot biodegrade or be recycled. 

Treekind, Biophilica’s headlining material, can be recycled or turned into compost. It uses less than 1% of the water in leather production. It is non-toxic, estimated carbon-negative, and contains ZERO plastic.

Since graduating from the Central Research Laboratory accelerator last year, Biophilica has joined the 2021 Fashion for Good accelerator, won the Queen Mary Social Venture Fund, and has been shortlisted for Manufacturing Futures 2021.   

Find out more about Biophilica.  


Our oceans have been hard hit by waste from the Covid-19 pandemic, including disposable plastic hand sanitiser bottles. Founders of the Soapstone, Eli Heath and Pete Barr recognised this. They momentarily pivoted their focus away from inclusive art tool, Enayball, to make sustainable hand sanitiser bottles. 

Soapstone is refillable, portable and built for life using metal. You can fill it with virtually any hand sanitiser making it flexible for people with sensitive hands or eczema. Its aesthetically pleasing design features a loop, meaning you can attach it to your keys, bag or belt. With over 10 million hand sanitiser bottles heading to landfill in the UK alone since the start of the pandemic, Soapstone provides a very sustainable solution. 

Launched on the Central Research Laboratory accelerator programme, Soapstone exceeded their Kickstarter target of £2,400, reaching an incredible £50,815. 

Get your Soapstone.


Want to access this incredible ecosystem of sustainable material innovators?  

Plus X are running a material innovation programme called the Better World Collective – supporting corporates, startups, academics and policy makers to collaborate on new and innovative sustainable materials. The Better World Collective curate connections between corporates seeking to move the needle on their sustainability agenda and the startups with innovations that meet the corporate’s need. Through a Better World Collective membership, you access purposeful and solution-focused summits, bespoke innovation support resources to fast-track your sustainability goals. Get in touch with the Better World Collective team to find out more about membership.


The Better World Collective is a material innovation programme powered by Plus X innovation hubs, a network of workspaces driving innovation, collaboration, and impact. Find out more about Plus X.


The Central Research Laboratory, powered by Plus X, is the UK’s leading hardware accelerator and award-winning workspace. Find out more here.


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