SeaPigs Save the Planet | Living North

SeaPigs Save the Planet


Image of pig swimming
Newcastle’s latest footwear brand is flip-flopping the fashion world on it’s head. Living North takes ten minutes to chat to the head of the SeaPigs’ herd about his revolutionary new shoe

So tell us a bit about the brand, when was your lightbulb moment?
Up until four years ago I was what I call a ‘someone’ – Someone should do something about that, or someone needs to fix that, or someone… I think you get the idea. I decided that I needed to do something to ‘make a difference’ – corny, but a motivator for a lot of people. The dream is to make sustainable products that are better than the unsustainable ones. The only way to make truly sustainable products is to ensure that the consumer loves them and the easiest way to do that is to design the product with them. That’s what SeaPigs have done, we call it co-creation. Ultimately, our aim is to find a fairer way to do business. 

Where did the inspiration for the name SeaPigs come from?
A family of pigs were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island in the Bahamas. The clever pigs learned to mould and adapt to their environment. The fun and clever SeaPigs swim in the ocean and live on the beach, and it’s now become known as Pig Island.

Our brand is inspired by the tale of Pig Island, whereby a group of pigs escaped a shipwreck in The Bahamas by swimming to the shore of a tiny, uninhabited island that they adapted to, and remain on this day. We see this tale as a beautiful example of nature and a story that embodies our light-hearted take on the more serious issue of humanity’s effect on our planet.

We love your focus on sustainability and ethical production in the fashion industry, could you tell us a bit more about how you’re aiming to incorporate this into the SeaPigs brand?
SeaPigs are flipping the footwear market – our beach footwear is sustainable by design. We do not use plastic in our manufacturing, just natural materials. The SeaPigs promise: If We Make It – We Take It Back. Our relationship with our customers and products does not end after a sale. Our products are designed to be collected, disassembled and made into new SeaPigs products, rather than being sent to landfill or clog up our oceans. 

We can’t wait to see this innovative flipflop hit the shelves, whereabouts in the North East will we be able to get our hands on a pair?
We are initially launching on Kickstarter at 9am 27th February 2019 – this crowd funding platform allows smaller brands with innovative ideas and passion to compete against the big boys.

We’re approaching the long-awaited summer months here in Newcastle, but if you could put on your SeaPigs and go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Easy. Pig Island in The Bahamas – the inspiration behind the SeaPigs brand. 

What’s your fondest memory from your travels and holidays growing up?
Corfu 1980 – we were very fortunate to spend two weeks with three other families. Each family had a villa side by side on the beach. There were no locked doors, and for those two weeks we were not four families, but one. Community spirit is one thing that we all crave for and something I believe we need to make more time for. 

If you were a SeaPig and got stranded on a desert island off the coast of The Bahamas, what item could you not live without?
I know I should say something sentimental, but realistically it would be my iPhone. But without power (I’m assuming there won’t be any), it would be Bill Bryson’s book – A Short History of Nearly Everything. I’ve read this book five times already and could quite happily read it another 20. 

You all studied at Newcastle University, what would be your top tips for the toon’s students?
While you are at university find something that you are passionate about and work towards making that your career path. Passion is the best motivator and just being on the journey is fun. Don’t do what you think you should do, do what you are passionate about.

Published in: March 2019

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