Brands & Manufacturers, Education & lobbying

Valdese Weavers raises awareness of marine plastic pollution through art

United States


Valdese Weavers, one of the largest textile mills in the world and creator of performance fabric made from SEAQUAL® MARINE PLASTIC, has gone one step further in its collaboration with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE.

It is no secret that ocean pollution is becoming an increasingly disturbing problem. But every year, SEAQUAL INITIATIVE proudly welcomes more and more partners to join us in the fight against plastic pollution.

One of these partners is InsideOut Performance Fabrics®, which works with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to manufacture performance fabrics made from marine litter collected from ocean floors and beaches. Blake Millinor, president and CEO of Valdese Weavers noted, “Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials because it is lightweight, strong, and virtually indestructible, which is why it is an ideal choice for a durable performance fabric.”

At the same time, Laura Lambie Levinson, Chief Creative Officer for Valdese Weavers opined that “There are many ways to tell this story, including science, ecology, and corporate responsibility. We could tell a darker narrative of carelessness, ignorance, and lack of effective disposal systems, but the most loved and remembered stories are told through art.”

To that end, InsideOut Performance Fabrics® collaborated last year with the internationally recognized artist Mel Chin and the Hickory Museum of Art to produce an exhibition creating awareness of the problem and potential solutions. This unique installation was titled “SEA to SEE” and, as Jon Carfagno, Executive Director of the HMA noted, “The mission of this show is to bring people together and inspire creativity through the power of art.” He added, “SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is working to clean oceans and raise awareness. Mel Chin uses creativity and science to raise awareness through his art.”

The SEA to SEE exhibition not only featured artwork, but it also displayed “dioramas of plastic pollution that is typically dumped into oceans, exhibits of the process by which this garbage is transformed, and examples of furniture made using SEAQUAL INITIATIVE fabrics from Arhaus, Allsteel and Summer Classics”, as explained by Millinor.

Blake Millinor also noted that “This exhibit is a compelling way to show a problem and how we are working together to help solve it. This is just the beginning.” In other words, this is a perfect example of industry, community, and the arts joining to solve an environmental problem.

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