Few Global Challenges Are Greater Than Cleaning Up The World's Oceans. Flavio Affinito’s Start Up ‘NuOceans’ Is Addressing This Problem Head On.
Of all the guests I’ve had on the podcast over the last 18 months or so, perhaps Flavio Affinito will be leaving the greatest legacy of them all.
Did you know that fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world, and that every year hundreds of millions of pairs of flip flops are produced, many of which contribute significantly to ocean plastic pollution?
Well Flavio has come up with a remarkable 100% sustainable solution with flip flops made entirely from ocean plastics.
In this fascinating episode you will be introduced to a young man who along with his colleagues at NuOceans is dedicating his life to cleaning the ocean and our beaches, one pair at a time.
Plus, Flavio will be giving away 10 pairs of their amazing cool recycled flip flops. Listen to the end to find out how to be among the very first to claim your own pair. It’s dead easy.
This is Your London Legacy
“The overarching goal is exactly what you mentioned—saving the planet. But there’s only so much one person can actually be responsible for.”
Flavio’s has taken on a subset of responsibility with maintaining a vibrant and healthy planet – namely ocean plastics, and a specific type of plastic at that. The end goal is for humanity to have a thriving planet, and his business NuOceans is definitely doing its part. It’s aim; flip flops. Over 3 billion pairs of flipflops are made every year, nearly one pair for half the world’s population. While in London we may not be wearing this style of footwear year round, but many countries are consistently warm and flipflops are just a staple of fashion. They aren’t designed to be recyclable or last very long—leading to a crisis where 30% of ocean cleanup is mainly crocs, flipflops, and shoe soles.
“There was a news article about these scientists that went to a completely abandoned island in the Indian Ocean, there was no one there, had never been anyone there…they found 30,000 pieces of plastic—and out of that 30,000, 11,000 were flipflops.”
Flavio’s love of the ocean started at an early age and can be said to still be the focal point of his life and career. The idea for NuOceans is to eventually spread to much more than recycling flipflops, but that process in itself had its own hurdles and challenges, some of which are still ongoing. Flipflops made by large companies have been constructed using chemical processes to drop costs, but this last makes them very hard to recycle. Flavio and the NuOceans team spent a lot of time in figuring out which kind of flip flops can be recycled and how to pulp them to use them for different parts of the footwear. They’ve arrived at a flipflop that is made from 100% recycled plastics, from the mid sole, top sole, with some parts even being made out of a bioplastic engineered from invasive algae species in Spain!
It is a truly wonderful endeavor, and one that NuOceans hope doesn’t end back up in the ocean after you’re done wearing the flip flops. You can return them to NuOceans so they can repurpose them while giving you a discount on your next pair.
“We have about 7 tons in Thailand right now…and with 7 tons we can make about 14,000 pairs of flip flops.”
Currently Flavio and NuOceans are finishing developing the flip flop itself before going to market—they are still looking for additional funds to help launch their footwear, and once it takes off I see NuOceans spreading far and wide. Stay tuned to the end of the episode to find a way to help spread their message—and possibly win 1 of 10 prototype flip flops for yourself before summer comes into full swing.