From: Danny Spyra
May 13, 2010
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O'Neill VP of Design, Ryan RushAround 1952, Jack O'Neill opened his first surf shop and started making surf accessories like wax and vests. Over the next few years, O'Neill turned into a thriving surf clothing and accessory brand. Today, O'Neill is at the forefront of technology and perhaps more importantly, sustainability.
It might be more apt to call this week's article "Green Beat" after seeing the steps O'Neill is taking to lessen its impact on the earth. Ryan Rush, VP of Design for O'Neill, was happy to break down the company's new eco-friendly line...appropriately named ECO'Neill. Enjoy!
- Danny Spyra
BNQT - O'NEILL IS NO STRANGER TO INNOVATION. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE SPRING 2010 ECO'NEILL CLOTHING LINE?
Ryan - ECO'Neill is a collection of sustainable, eco-friendly designs that aim to support the preservation of the environment for generations to come. ECO'Neill's Spring 2011 collection includes basic tees, tanks and beanies made from 100% organic cotton, and novelty tees and tanks in 100% organic cotton slub jersey. Boardshort fabrics will be made from recycled plastic bottles. The collection is hitting stores as we speak.
Mishka - music artist and face of ECO'Neill
BNQT - YOU'VE SIGNED MUSIC ARTIST MISHKA AS THE FACE OF THE ECO'NEILL LINE. WHAT KIND OF INVOLVEMENT WILL HE HAVE?
Ryan - Mishka is an environmentalist, waterman, artist...a perfect fit to launch ECO'Neill with us. He is contributing to the creative process and design of upcoming ECO'Neill styles and will be featured in related advertising, POP, mobile marketing and social media initiatives to support the collection.
Mishka - Working with O'Neill is giving me a chance to spread my music to more people -- and specifically those who are into water sports. I have found such musical and spiritual inspiration out on the waves, so this partnership is a good way to connect with people who probably feel the same inspiration. It's also cool if I can help O'Neill become a more ecologically friendly company along the way. It's a win win situation.
BNQT - TO ROUND OUT THE EFFORTS, I'VE HEARD O'NEILL IS PRODUCING AN EARTH-FRIENDLY WETSUIT. WHAT MAKES THIS SUIT UNIQUE?
Kieran Horn (O'Neill Surf Marketing) - The more environmentally friendly addition to O'Neill's Psycho family of wetsuits is the RG8. O'Neill's exclusive Ultraflex RG8 neoprene is limestone based with the jersey, the inner and outer layers of the neoprene, made from recycled plastics.
BNQT - ASIDE FROM THE ECO'NEILL LINE, WHAT KIND OF STEPS IS O'NEILL TAKING AS A COMPANY TO LESSEN ITS IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT?
Ryan - The ECO'Neill collection is our testing ground for sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Our goal is to learn more about the processes and increase our eco-friendly product assortment across the entire company.
BNQT - O'NEILL HAS AN INCREDIBLY TALENTED SURF TEAM. WILL RIDERS CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECO'NEILL LINE?
Ryan - We are in discussions now with some of our key riders on their involvement with ECO'Neill - stay tuned.
Ryan - Each season we will be focusing on fine tuning and rounding out the collection. Our goal is to have several ECO'Neill items per product category. This will provide people with more choices in their quest for environmentally friendly products. Our goal is to have this mentality spread through the organization and affect our brand in general.
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