The founder of a North West sustainable clothing brand which makes products from seaweed and cotton has spoken to Insider about its innovative manufacturing process and its goal of helping to tackle the climate crisis.
Macclesfield-based Inland Sea uses an innovative method to spin its fabric to allow for the fusion of cotton and seaweed.
Adam Costello, founder of Inland Sea, told Insider the company had “pioneered a new sustainable approach to clothing manufacturing”.
He said: “We are the first in the UK to import a highly sustainable fibre that contains seaweed and successfully spin it with fully traceable cotton, to make a fabric called SeaBlend, that is created, spun, knitted, dyed, and finished all in the UK. We’re proud to have developed this process, and the innovation that lies at the heart of it. We’re now in a great position to build on what we’ve already achieved and to venture into using other alternative, natural, and climate positive materials for fashion.
“This year we manufactured fabric for over 2,000 garments, predominantly t-shirts. We worked closely with other like-minded brands who valued our sustainable approach and saw the benefit in using our fabric. We have produced a variety of printed t-shirts for these brands to help raise awareness of the potential held in natural resources such as seaweed, as well as issues such as plastic pollution and the ways seaweed can tackle them. We have also produced a range of t-shirts for our own brand – Inland Sea – in men’s, women’s and unisex sizes.”
Costello also outlined the company’s expansion plans, in support of its goal of helping to tackle the climate crisis.
“Our sole purpose has always been to help solve the climate crisis, and this is a key benefit we hold as a business. As we expand to provide fabric to more brands, we will be playing a vital role in bringing the vision of a healthier planet to life. As well as our garments, all of our packaging is made from seaweed, and for every tonne of seaweed used we are saving four tonnes of trees from being felled.
“Through our unique manufacturing process, we have supported UK manufacturing services who spin, dye, knit, and sew our products. As a proud British business, it is fulfilling to continue to provide jobs for local workers as we establish our manufacturing chain.
“Inland Sea is a forward-facing brand with a bright future ahead. Now that we have developed our innovative textile, we want to be able to provide our product to other clothing brands that want to be more sustainable, through use of our unique fabric and garments. With the move to a more sustainable lifestyle gaining popularity, we expect more and more brands to look towards using UK made, high quality fabric and garments.
“We are also looking to start new product lines, developing our fabric to include thicker and thinner textiles, suitable for sweaters and hoodies as well as nightwear and bedding. Our fabric is a versatile asset, and it has incredible potential to take our brand to new heights.”
Last year, Inland Sea secured a loan from NPIF – GC & River Microfinance, which is managed by GC Business Finance in partnership with River Capital as part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Costello added: “Recent funding has played a crucial role in allowing us to complete the first phase of product development at the cotton mill in Manchester. It is only after receiving funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) that we were able to finish the last stages of product development, and without it the company would not have reached its goal to take our products to market as quickly as we did.”
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