Ocean Clean-ups

What are ‘Ocean clean-ups’?

Ocean clean-ups are events or programs performed by registered organizations to clean marine litter from our beaches and coasts, ocean floor and surface, rivers and estuaries.

What is marine litter?

Marine litter is waste of any type that has been lost or discarded in the marine environment and is found on beaches and coasts, the ocean floor and surface, rivers and estuaries.

How is the marine litter collected?

Marine litter can be collected in a variety of ways depending upon the ocean clean-up. Marine litter can be collected directly from beaches by hand or it can be collected from the ocean in fishermen’s nets or other systems dedicated to capturing marine litter at sea or in rivers and estuaries.

Who performs the ocean clean-ups?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE collaborates with ocean clean-ups performed by local communities, NGOs, fishermen, research institutes, and regional and national authorities.

Are the people performing these ocean clean-ups paid workers or volunteers?

People participating in ocean clean-ups can be either paid workers or volunteers.

How often are ocean clean-ups performed?

The frequency of the ocean clean-up depends upon the organization or community performing the ocean clean-up. Fishermen may collect marine litter every day; beach clean-ups are often weekly, monthly or one-off events.

From which regions is the marine litter collected?

Marine litter for transformation in Europe can be collected from Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and West Africa. Until now, collection has been focused on the European Mediterranean, and the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain and Ghana. Today, all marine litter is transformed by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE in Europe. However, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recognizes the importance of providing local solutions to global problems and global markets and for this reason, is in the process of opening operations for transforming locally-sourced waste at other strategic locations globally.

Does all the marine litter used by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE come from the ocean and beaches?

All the marine litter used by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is cleaned from beaches and coasts, the ocean floor and surface, rivers and estuaries.

Which types of marine litter are collected?

Ocean clean-ups collect all types of marine litter; plastic, metal, glass, rubber, and mixed material items – everything from shoes to refrigerators!

What percentage of the marine litter is plastic?

This depends on where, how and when the marine litter was collected. In regions of the world where there is little or no infrastructure for the collection and recycling of plastics, the ratio of plastics can be much higher than in regions where there are good waste management systems. The ratio of plastic also varies greatly depending upon whether the marine litter was collected from a beach, where the majority of the waste has been carried by the tides and so the quantity of lighter materials such as plastics is very high, or from the ocean floor where heavier materials such as glass and metals are more likely to be retrieved as well. Different seasons also affect the ratio, for example the level of plastic in touristic locations such as the Mediterranean increases during the summer months. Generally, it is considered that between 60% and 80% of marine litter is plastic, reaching 95% in some regions.

Which types of plastic are commonly found in marine litter?

The most common types of plastic found in marine litter are:

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – water and drinks bottles.
  • Polypropylene (PP) – straws, bottle tops, shampoo and detergent bottles, fruit crates.
  • High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) – Shampoo and detergent bottles, plastic milk bottles, ice-cream containers.
  • Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) – Shopping bags, food packaging and film.
  • Polyamide (PA) – pieces of fishing nets, ropes and cords.

What does SEAQUAL INITIATIVE do with the marine litter that is collected?

Marine litter from our beaches and coasts, ocean floor and surface, rivers and estuaries is collected by ocean clean-ups. It is then sorted into different material types. The plastic portion is cleaned and transformed into Upcycled Marine Plastic at SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved facilities and then returned to industry to be transformed into beautiful, new, sustainable products. Non-plastic materials are recycled by our partners and those materials that cannot be recycled are disposed of responsibly.

What is Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Upcycled Marine Plastic is a new, sustainable, fully traceable raw material from SEAQUAL INITIATIVE that is made from marine litter, or in some cases from end-of-life fishing nets or other plastics used in aquaculture (such as those used in mussel and oyster farming).

Who transforms the marine litter into Upcycled Marine Plastic?

The marine litter is transformed into Upcycled Marine Plastic by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE partners in Europe.

How does SEAQUAL INITIATIVE guarantee that the marine litter used to make Upcycled Marine Plastic comes from the ocean?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE operates a Chain of Custody (CoC) throughout the supply chain, from the ocean clean-up to the final retail product. The CoC is a system of procedures and documents that trace the raw material from its origin to its end use. Our CoC starts with a Certificate of Origin guaranteeing that the plastic has been removed from the marine environment. This certificate is signed by the registered organization responsible for the clean-up or the licensed waste management company collecting the marine litter from them.

How much of the marine litter is recycled?

In most cases, all of the marine litter that can be recycled is recycled. Unfortunately, mixed-material items (for example shoes) are often not easily recycled.

What makes SEAQUAL INIITIATIVE different to other similar projects?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is much more than an ocean cleaning or recycling project. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is built upon four ‘pillars’:
1) to enable ocean cleaning
2) to raise awareness and educate
3) to engage industry
4) to inspire society.
SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is a global collaborative community working together in all of these areas.

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is dedicated to working directly with local communities and organizations who clean waste from our marine environment. Upcycled Marine Plastic is made only from plastic waste that has been collected from the water or from the water’s edge, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE does not include plastic collected on land from coastal or island communities in Upcycled Marine Plastic.

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE has a holistic strategy to upcycling marine plastic. Our goal is to be able to give a second life to all of the plastics found in our oceans. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE can take all the waste collected by ocean clean-ups and use it to offer a range of raw material solutions to industry. At SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, we don’t look for materials to recycle in our oceans, we look for ways to recycle the materials cleaned from our oceans.

What happens to the marine litter that is not upcycled by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE?

In addition to the PET, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is already working to upcycle the other common plastic types found in marine litter. Non-plastic materials are recycled by our partners and those materials that cannot be recycled are disposed of responsibly.

How much marine litter has SEAQUAL INITIATIVE transformed into Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Please see the ‘About SEAQUAL INITIATIVE’ page of this website for an up-to-date figure.

How much marine litter has been collected in total?

Please see the ‘About SEAQUAL INITIATIVE’ page of this website for an up-to-date figure.

Upcycled Marine Plastic

What is Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Upcycled Marine Plastic is a new sustainable, fully-traceable raw material from SEAQUAL INITIATIVE that is made from marine litter, or in some cases from end-of-life fishing nets or other plastics used in aquaculture (such as those used in mussel and oyster farming). Upcycled Marine Plastic is made 100% from marine plastic.

How is Upcycled Marine Plastic made?

Plastic marine litter, or in some cases plastic from end-of-life fishing nets or other plastics used in aquaculture (such as those used in mussel and oyster farming), is sorted into different polymer types. Each polymer type is then compressed into a ‘bale’ (a block) for transportation. The bales are then transported to specialist recycling centers where they are washed and prepared to be turned into ‘chips’ (also known as ‘nurdles’ or ‘pellets’). The process can be different depending upon the type of plastic. In the case of polyester, ‘bales’ of PET bottles are transported to the ‘flake’ manufacturer. Here, the bottles are cut into small pieces called ‘flakes’ and then the bottle caps, labels, glue and any residual contents are separated and removed. The resulting 100% PET ‘washed flakes’ are then transported to the ‘chip’ manufacturer, who melts and extrudes the PET into long spaghetti-like ‘threads’ which are then cut into short ‘chips’. These ‘chips’ are the raw material used by industry to manufacturer yarns or injection molded plastics.

Who makes Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Upcycled Marine Plastic is made by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE partners at approved facilities in Europe.

Where is Upcycled Marine Plastic made?

All Upcycled Marine Plastic is currently made at SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved facilities in Europe. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recognizes the importance of providing local solutions to global problems and global markets and for this reason, is in the process of opening operations for producing Upcycled Marine Plastic from locally-sourced waste at other strategic locations globally.

What can Upcycled Marine Plastic be used for?

Upcycled Marine Plastic refers to a range of polymers from SEAQUAL INITIATIVE that are made from marine plastic. Upcycled Marine Plastic can be developed for use in most applications where virgin plastics are currently used.

Can I buy Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Upcycled Marine Plastic can currently only be bought in its raw material form (‘chips’) by selected partners. Any company with a SEAQUAL License can purchase SEAQUAL® YARN.

How does SEAQUAL INITIATIVE guarantee that the plastic used to make Upcycled Marine Plastic comes from the ocean?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE operates a Chain of Custody (CoC) throughout the supply chain, from the ocean clean-up to the final retail product. The CoC is a system of procedures and documents that trace the material from its origin to its end use. Our CoC starts with a ‘Certificate of Origin’ guaranteeing that the plastic has been removed from the marine environment. This certificate is signed by the registered organization responsible for the clean-up or the licensed waste management company collecting the marine litter.

Is Upcycled Marine Plastic a traceable raw material?

Yes, Upcycled Marine Plastic is a fully traceable raw material. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE operates a Chain of Custody (CoC) to track the material through all transformation processes and a ‘DNA’ tracer is added to the polymer before it is returned to industry. SEAQUAL LAB can test products to see if they contain Upcycled Marine Plastic.

Does Upcycled Marine Plastic have GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certification?

Yes, Upcycled Marine Plastic has GRS certification.

Traceability

Does Upcycled Marine Plastic have traceability?

Yes, Upcycled Marine Plastic is a fully traceable raw material. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE operates a Chain of Custody (CoC) to track the material through all transformation processes from collected waste to Upcycled Marine Plastic ‘chip’. The Upcycled Marine Plastic ‘chip’ also contains a ‘DNA’ tracer that can be detected by SEAQUAL LAB in polymer, semi-finished and finished goods. In addition, the sale and purchase of Upcycled Marine Plastic and products containing Upcycled Marine Plastic is limited exclusively to companies licensed to do so by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE.

Does Upcycled Marine Plastic have proof of origin?

Yes, for each batch of marine litter a ‘Certificate of Origin’ is provided by the registered organization responsible for the clean-up or the licensed waste management company collecting the marine litter. This forms part of SEAQUAL INITIATIVE’s ‘Chain of Custody’ for material traceability.

All products made with Upcycled Marine Plastic contain a unique ‘DNA’ tracer. How does the tracer work?

A chemical ‘DNA’ tracer that can be detected by SEAQUAL LAB is added to the polymer. This tracer can be detected in polymer, semi-finished or finished goods containing the polymer. Only SEAQUAL LAB know how to detect the tracer.

Does SEAQUAL INITIATIVE certify products made with Upcycled Marine Plastic?

Yes, products made with Upcycled Marine Plastic (such as textiles made with SEAQUAL® YARN) must be sent to SEAQUAL LAB for certification. SEAQUAL LAB tests for the presence of the ‘DNA’ tracer to confirm that the product contains Upcycled Marine Plastic. Products made with Upcycled Marine Plastic must also meet the minimum content requirements set by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE. Details of which products must be sent for certification and the minimum content requirements are stated in the ‘SEAQUAL Trademark License and Copyright Agreement’. Once a product has been certified it is given a unique SEAQUAL Certification Number.

SEAQUAL® YARN

What is SEAQUAL® YARN?

SEAQUAL® YARN is a high quality 100% post-consumer recycled polyester yarn containing Upcycled Marine Plastic from SEAQUAL INITIATIVE. SEAQUAL® YARN is almost identical in physical properties to standard recycled polyester and is available in both continuous filament and staple fiber in a variety of sizes and finishes. SEAQUAL® YARN is used in a multitude of applications including apparel and accessories, contract and automotive upholstery, home furnishings and technical textiles. SEAQUAL® YARN contains approximately 10% Upcycled Marine Plastic (from marine litter), the remaining 90% is post-consumer PET from land sources.

How is SEAQUAL® YARN made?

  • Ocean clean-ups collect the marine litter.
  • The marine litter is transported by licensed waste management companies to SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved sorting centers.
  • The waste is sorted into plastics and non-plastics.
  • The plastic is sorted into different polymer types.
  • Each polymer type is then compressed into ‘bales’ (a large block) for transportation.
  • The ‘bales’ of PET bottles are then sent to a SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved ‘flake’ producer.
  • The ‘bales’ of PET bottles are opened, and the bottles are shredded into small pieces (‘flakes’). At this stage, other materials such as the bottle tops, labels, glues used on the labels and any residual waste, such as sand, are removed and separated in a washing process.
  • The 100% PET washed ‘flakes’ are then sent to a SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved ‘chip’ manufacturer (‘chips’ are also known as ‘pellets’ or ‘nurdles’).
  • The chip manufacturer mixes the marine litter PET flakes with post-consumer PET flakes from land sources.
  • The mixed ‘flakes’ are heated until molten and forced through an extruder, where long spaghetti-like ‘threads’ are formed and then chopped into small lengths or ‘chips’
  • The ‘chips’ are sent to the SEAQUAL licensed yarn manufacturer.
  • The SEAQUAL licensed yarn manufacturer ‘melt spins’ the polymer chips. Molten polymer is forced through a spinneret (metal block with tiny holes) and viscous threads fall by gravity, cooling as they fall. Thousands of threads are produced at the same time, with between 34 and 134 threads being used to create each yarn. The threads are combined and wound onto a bobbin at high speed (approximately 300km/h).
  • The bobbins are transported to the texturing plant, where the yarn is given texture.
  • The textured yarn is shipped to SEAQUAL licensed textile manufacturers.

Who makes SEAQUAL® YARN?

There are currently two licensed manufacturers of SEAQUAL® YARN, ANTEX for continuous filament and VICA for short staple fiber, both of which are located in Spain.

Where is SEAQUAL® YARN made?

All SEAQUAL® YARN is currently made in Spain. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recognizes the importance of providing local solutions to global problems and global markets, therefore SEAQUAL® YARN will be produced at other global locations made from locally collected marine litter.

What polymer is SEAQUAL fiber made from?

SEAQUAL® YARN is currently available as 100% recycled post-consumer polyester. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE will offer SEAQUAL® YARN in other polymer types in the future.

Is SEAQUAL® YARN mechanically or chemically recycled?

Yes, SEAQUAL® YARN is recyclable.

What is the composition of SEAQUAL® YARN?

SEAQUAL® YARN is composed of approximately 10% Upcycled Marine Plastic (from marine litter) and 90% post-consumer PET from land-based sources.

Where does the marine litter for SEAQUAL® YARN come from?

Marine litter for transformation in Europe can be collected from Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and West Africa. Until now, collection has been focused on the European Mediterranean, and the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain and Ghana. Today, all marine litter is transformed by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE in Europe. However, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recognizes the importance of providing local solutions to global problems and markets and for this reason is in the process of opening operations for transforming locally sourced waste at other strategic locations globally.

Where does the 90% of post-consumer PET come from?

Today, the land-based post-consumer PET comes from plastics recycled from European households, mainly from Spain and France. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE are looking to also include land-sourced PET recovered from our environment, so that we can also support clean-up projects recovering waste lost in our environment on land.

How much marine litter is cleaned from our oceans for every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN?

When SEAQUAL® INITIATIVE began in 2016 we worked exclusively with the marine litter collected in the nets of fishermen on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. At that time, PET represented 9% of the marine litter cleaned from the ocean by the fishermen, meaning that for every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN, roughly 1 kilo of marine litter had been cleaned from the ocean (SEAQUAL® YARN contains approximately 10% Upcycled Marine Plastic). The 9% figure was known because the program with the fishermen was ongoing and data about the marine litter was collected and reported. SEAQUAL® INITIATIVE now works with numerous ocean clean-ups who collect marine litter from our beaches and coasts, ocean floor and surface, rivers and estuaries. Some of these clean-ups are continuous programs, others are one-off events. Some collect detailed data about the marine litter they collect, some do not, and very few collect and present the data in the same way. As the composition of marine litter can vary enormously depending upon how and where it was collected, and even in which season it was collected, it is not possible to say that all marine litter contains 9% PET (for example the percentage of PET on the ocean floor off the coast of Holland is much lower, perhaps only 1% or 2%, whereas the percentage of PET on a beach in Ghana may be 40% or more). SEAQUAL INITIATIVE estimate that for every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN between 600 grams and 1 kilo of marine litter have been cleaned from our oceans.

How many PLASTIC BOTTLES are in 1 kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN?

This depends upon the size of the bottle. There are 33 x 1.5 liter plastic bottles in every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN, 3.3 of which will have come from the ocean, or 72 x 330ml plastic bottles, 7.2 of which will have come from the ocean. However, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is not a project to recycle plastic bottles from the ocean, it is an initiative to clean our oceans of all types of marine litter. The ocean cleaning partners we work with remove all types of plastic (PET, PA, PP, HDPE, LDPE) as well as glass, metals, rubber and mixed material objects from our oceans. In some cases, PET bottles represent less than 10% of the litter cleaned from the ocean. When you buy products made with SEAQUAL® YARN you are supporting ocean cleaning, not plastic bottle recycling. For that reason, we prefer to talk about the amount of marine litter cleaned from our oceans, not just the bottles. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE estimates that for every kilo of SEAQUAL® YARN, between 600 grams and 1 kilo of marine litter has been cleaned from our oceans.

What types of yarn are available?

Currently SEAQUAL® YARN is available as 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. SEAQUAL® YARN is available as continuous filament yarn and staple fiber yarn. SEAQUAL® YARN is available in a range of sizes and finishes. More details can be found here (SEAQUAL® YARN).

What are the physical properties of SEAQUAL® YARN compared to standard recycled polyester?

The physical properties of SEAQUAL® YARN are almost identical to those of standard recycled polyester.

What is the price and the MOQ (minimum order quantity) for SEAQUAL® YARN?

For all information about price, MOQ, delivery and technical specifications, please contact the relevant SEAQUAL licensed yarn manufacturer. More details can be found here (SEAQUAL® YARN).

How can I buy SEAQUAL® YARN?

If you are a SEAQUAL Licensee, you can buy SEAQUAL® YARN from the relevant SEAQUAL licensed yarn manufacturer. More details can be found here (SEAQAUAL® YARN). If you are not a SEAQUAL LICENSEE you may request 2 bobbins of SEAQUAL® YARN for lab validation purposes; if after this analysis you wish to purchase more SEAQUAL® YARN you must first become a licensee.

Does SEAQUAL® YARN contain a tracer?

Yes, SEAQUAL® YARN contains a unique tracer in the polymer that can be detected only by SEAQUAL LAB. This tracer can be detected in the yarn, textile or finished goods. All textiles made with SEAQUAL® YARN must be submitted for certification to SEAQUAL LAB.

How do I submit a textile to SEAQUAL LAB for certification?

Go to www.seaqual.org

  1. Click on ‘Licensee Area’ (accessible only to SEAQUAL Licensees)
  2. Enter your email address and password to log in to your SEAQUAL user account.
  3. Click on SEAQUAL LAB.
  4. Click on ‘Submit a Textile for Certification’.
  5. Complete the ‘SEAQUAL Textile Certification Application’.
  6. Click ‘Save’ and then print the completed form. (A copy of your application will be automatically sent to SEAQUAL LAB).
  7. Attach your printed application form to an A4 size sample of the textile (or the whole item if you are certifying a product made directly from SEAQUAL® YARN such as a sock or seamless knitted garment).
  8. Send your sample with the attached application form to the address shown on the bottom of the form.

You can track your applications online in your SEAQUAL user account.

Does SEAQUAL certify products made with SEAQUAL® YARN?

Yes, products made with SEAQUAL® YARN are certified by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE. All textiles (fabrics or goods made directly from yarn, i.e. socks, seamless garments, straps, cords) made with SEAQUAL® YARN must be sent to SEAQUAL LAB for certification. SEAQUAL LAB tests for the presence of the ‘DNA’ tracer to confirm that the textile contains Upcycled Marine Plastic. Once the textile has been certified it is given a unique SEAQUAL Certification Number. This number must be passed down the supply chain from supplier to customer (with the exception of the end customer). It is not necessary to send goods (garments or other textile products) made from certified textiles to SEAQUAL LAB for certification, the SEAQUAL Certification Number of the certified textile should be used as the certification number for the goods.

What percentage of SEAQUAL® YARN must be used in the final product?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recommends using 100% SEAQUAL® YARN (or the highest content technically possible). In any case, all retail products made with SEAQUAL® YARN must contain a minimum of 20% SEAQUAL® YARN by weight. If the retail product contains non-textile materials, the minimum content is 20% by weight of the textile portion.

What percentage of SEAQUAL® YARN must be used in fabrics?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recommends using 100% SEAQUAL® YARN in all textiles (or the highest content technically possible). In any case, all textiles made with SEAQUAL® YARN are required to contain a minimum of 20% SEAQUAL® YARN by weight. Please also note that all retail products made with SEAQUAL® YARN are also required to contain a minimum of 20% SEAQUAL® YARN by weight. If the retail product contains non-textile materials, the minimum content is 20% by weight of the textile portion.

Does SEAQUAL® YARN release microfibers?

All fibers, both natural and synthetic, have the potential to release microfibers during their lifetime. The factors that determine whether microfibers are released, and in what quantities, are mainly related to the construction of the fabrics made with that yarn. Fabrics such as ‘fleeces’ or other fabrics where the yarn is deliberately broken or damaged release more microfibers. Fabrics made without ‘destructive’ finishing processes are more durable and so will release fewer or no microfibers. SEAQUAL® YARN is a high-quality polyester with excellent durability, helping to dramatically reduce or eliminate microfiber release. The two SEAQUAL Licensed manufacturers of SEAQUAL® YARN (ANTEX and VICA) are part of ‘FIBERCLEAN’, a consortium of companies including yarn and textile manufacturers and laundry equipment and water filtration companies. ‘FIBERCLEAN’ is a four-year program backed by the European Union to study and implement best practices for reducing or eliminated the release of microfibers.

Can SEAQUAL INITIATIVE recycle my products made from SEAQUAL® YARN?

Not yet. ‘Textile to Textile’ recycling will be an important tool in reducing the impact the textile industry has on our environment and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is working in this area. Today, there are challenges to overcome, such as the logistics of returning end-of-use garments and other textile products in an effective way that does not create additional CO2 emissions, as well as how to recycle mixed-material products. Garments that contain more than one fiber-type can be difficult to recycle, especially if the exact contents cannot be guaranteed. Fortunately, technologies to deal with this are advancing. In the meantime, it is important that products are developed to be durable and with a ‘design-to-recycle’ philosophy, achieved by using mono-materials or making it easy to separate the different components ready for recycling when the product reaches the end of its life.

Does SEAQUAL® YARN have GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certification?

Yes, all SEAQUAL® YARN is GRS certified.

What certifications does SEAQUAL® YARN have?

All SEAQUAL® YARN is GRS and OEKO-TEX® class 100 certified.

Does SEAQUAL® YARN have OEKO-TEX® certification?

Yes, all SEAQUAL® YARN is certified to OEKO-TEX® class 100.

SEAQUAL License

What is the SEAQUAL License?

SEAQUAL® YARN and products made with SEAQUAL® YARN are available exclusively to SEAQUAL Licensees. Any company that wishes to buy, sell or promote SEAQUAL® YARN or any product made with SEAQUAL® YARN must become a licensee by signing a ‘SEAQUAL Trademark License & Copyright Agreement’. This license permits the holder to buy and sell SEAQUAL® YARN and products made with SEAQUAL® YARN, it also grants the holder the right to use the SEAQUAL INITIATIVE names, logos and copyright materials.

Who needs a license?

Any company that wishes to purchase, sell or promote SEAQUAL® YARN or use SEAQUAL INITIATIVE names, logos or copyright materials for marketing purposes must sign a ‘SEAQUAL Trademark License & Copyright Agreement’.

How do I apply for a license?

You can apply for your license at www.seaqual.org, by clicking the “Become a Licensee” button in the top menu.

Why do we have a licensing system?

SEAQUAL® YARN and products made with SEAQUAL® YARN are available exclusively to SEAQUAL Licensees. In order to gain access to SEAQUAL® YARN and the use of the SEAQUAL name, every member of the supply chain is required to sign a ‘SEAQUAL Trademark License & Copyright Agreement’. The license is designed to ensure material traceability and to protect the integrity of SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and all licensees.

Material Traceability:

  1. Licensees can only buy or sell products made with SEAQUAL® YARN to other licensees. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE has a database of all licensees and can quickly check if someone claiming to use SEAQUAL® YARN is not a licensee.
  2. All textiles made with SEAQUAL® YARN must be submitted to SEAQUAL LAB for certification. Certified fabrics are given a unique SEAQUAL Certification Number.
  3. Licensees must only purchase textiles or textile goods made with SEAQUAL® YARN if it has a SEAQUAL Certification Number.

Communication:

  1. Licensees must always communicate about SEAQUAL® YARN and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE honestly and correctly. Dishonest or incorrect communication can be damaging to all licensees.
  2. Licensees must communicate their support for SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, they must not take our story and the story of our community and make it their own. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is about raising awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and the people and organizations who are fighting it.

What do I do if I have a problem with my application?

Some applicants have experienced problems when making their application using Internet Explorer. If you experience problems and are using Internet Explorer, please try another browser, for example Chrome or Firefox. If the problem persists, please contact digital@seaqual.com.

How long does the license last?

The license normally lasts 2 years and is automatically renewed for another 2 year period if it is not terminated by either party.

Who can apply for a license?

The license is available to any registered company (with the exception of manufacturers of mattress ticking and/or and textile involved in the manufacture of mattresses). The license is not currently available to individuals or to sole traders.

Are there different types of license?

Yes, for textiles there are 3 types of license: a standard textile license, an automotive interior textiles license and a merchandising license. You will be asked which type(s) of license you require when you make your application.

What is the process to receive a license?

  1. Go to www.seaqual.org.
  2. Click on ‘Become a Licensee’
  3. Complete the application form and click send.
  4. RECEIVED: You will receive an email letting you know we have received your application.
  5. APPROVED: When your application has been approved you will receive an email with a link to the license you must sign.
  6. SIGNED: Please sign the license using the supplied ‘DocuSign’ digital signature technology, the license signed by you will be sent back to SEAQUAL INITIATIVE by email.
  7. GRANTED: Once SEAQUAL INITIATIVE receive the license signed by you we will countersign and return it to you by email. When you receive your license signed by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE you a SEAQUAL Licensee.

How long does it take to get a license?

It normally takes 1 week for an application to be APPROVED. Once we receive the SIGNED license, it takes 1 or 2 more days before your license in GRANTED.

Do I need a license if I am an importer, distributor or retailer?

If the goods being imported, distributed or retailed are clearly branded with the brand name of an existing SEAQUAL Licensee, the importer, distributor or retailer is not required to be a licensee.

Does an end customer need to sign a license?

No, retail consumers are not required to be licensees.

Does a brand have to sign a license?

Yes, the brand whose products are made with SEAQUAL® YARN must always have a license.

Can I sell products containing SEAQUAL® YARN without a license?

Only if you are an importer, distributor or retailer and you are selling goods that are clearly branded with the brand name of an existing SEAQUAL Licensee.

Can I sell products containing SEAQUAL® YARN to a company that is not a licensee?

Only if you are selling to an importer, distributor or retailer and the goods you are selling are clearly branded with the brand name of an existing SEAQUAL Licensee.

What are the benefits of being a licensee?

  1. Being part of a global collaborative community dedicated to cleaning our oceans and helping local communities.
  2. Being listed on our website www.seaqual.org as a company collaborating in the fight against plastic pollution.
  3. Having access to SEAQUAL® YARN and products made with SEAQUAL® YARN.
  4. Having the right to use the SEAQUAL INITIATIVE names, logos and copyright materials.
  5. Having access to the SEAQUAL Licensee area at www.seaqual.org where you can:
    • Create your own company profile.
    • Access the database of all SEAQUAL Licensees.
    • Textile manufacturers can access ‘SEAQUAL LAB Online’ for easy submission and tracking of Textile Certifications.
    • Download copyright marketing materials such as hang tag, poster and roll-up designs and videos.
    • Download useful documents such as the SEAQUAL Brand Guidelines, a copy of your SEAQUAL License and GRS and OEKO-TEX® certificates for SEAQUAL® YARN.
  6. Receiving support for the creation and approval of your marketing and communications.
  7. The possibility to sponsor specific ocean clean-up or educational projects and create specific marketing content for your company.

What trademarks does SEAQUAL have?

European Union Trademark No. 16.008.501 and International Trademark No. 1334598 designating Japan, China and the United States of America; both of them designating the following goods:
Class 23: Yarns and threads for textile use.
Class 24: Textile goods not included in other classes (not including fabrics); Bed blankets; Tablecloths; Piece goods made of non-woven plastic material; Piece goods made of woven plastic material.
Mexican Trademark No. 1334598, in class 23: Yarns for textile use.
European Union Trademark No. 18140929 designating: Class 12: “Cars; car seats; upholstery for vehicle seats; coverings for car seats; car safety seat for children; covering for car safety seats for children; prams; pushchairs; covers for baby carriages; covers for prams” Class 20: “Beds, bedding, mattresses, pillows and cushions; mattress toppers; cots; head support cushions for babies”
Spain Trademark No. 4049166 , in class 35: Advertising, marketing and promotional services; organization of events, exhibitions, fairs and shows with commercial, promotional or advertising purposes; promotion of goods and services through sponsorship; services of promoting the cleaning of the oceans; providing marketing assistance and advice in connection with the use of recycled materials of marine origin; preparation and development of promotional campaigns for third parties in connection with their contribution to the cleaning of oceans through the use of recycled materials of marine origin”

Marketing

Are there rules that my company must follow when communicating about SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and SEAQUAL® YARN?

Yes, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE provides every SEAQUAL Licensee with a copy of the SEAQUAL Brand Guidelines. These guidelines must be followed when communicating about SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and SEAQUAL® YARN. The SEAQUAL Brand Guidelines can be downloaded from your user-account on our webpage, www.seaqual.org.

Do my company’s marketing and communication materials about SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and SEAQUAL® YARN need to be approved before use?

Yes, all marketing materials and communications must be approved by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE before use. Please send material for approval to digital@seaqual.com. Social media posts and marketing materials supplied by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE do not need to be approved before use.

Is my company required to communicate its support for SEAQUAL INITIATIVE?

Yes, one of SEAQUAL INITIATIVE’s key objectives is to create a single voice in raising awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and the people and organizations fighting to solve it. SEAQUAL INIATIVE and our partners rely on your company to voice your support for the initiative and our partners. It is not permitted to refer to the work of SEAQUAL INITIATIVE or our partners without making specific reference to SEAQUAL INITIATIVE.

Is my company required to communicate its use of SEAQUAL® YARN?

It is not permitted to change the name of SEAQUAL® YARN or promote your product’s use of plastics recovered from our oceans without communicating your use of SEAQUAL® YARN.

Can my company use permanent labels communicating the use of SEAQUAL® YARN on its products?

Yes, details are included in the SEAQUAL Brand Guidelines.

Can you provide my company with hang-tags and other marketing materials?

SEAQUAL INITIATIVE supplies SEAQUAL Licensees with digital files of designs for hang tags, posters and roll-ups, these are ready to be printed/produced by the licensee when and where required. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE does not supply physical marketing materials. Videos and images are also made available. All of these marketing materials can be downloaded from your user-account at www.seaqual.org.