NEWBURYPORT - It's always sweater weather in New England and it's taking on a new twist in Newburyport at the Long Wharf Supply Co. It's an eco-friendly, coastal-inspired, lifestyle brand made out of recycled products.
"The ocean's always been something that my family's cared about," founder Mike Lamagna told WBZ-TV. "The reality is we try and spend as much time as we can there and we care about the water quality and we care about our experience on the water."
Lamagna has been cruising on the water since he was in infant.
"I grew up here on the water, over the years, fishing, in the ocean round here we'd be amazed at how much plastic and waste we would pull out of the water," he said.
In fact, during our interview, Lamagna scooped up a plastic water bottle floating by the dock. It's the same product that's used to create Long Wharf's sustainable fisherman sweaters.
"Every sweater includes roughly 8 water bottles and 5 shells," he told WBZ.
A sustainable soft yarn is created by crushing oyster shells and recycled bottles and infusing them together before combining with lambs wool or cotton.
"I knew we needed to do something to create a sustainable product that removed a lot of these materials from the waste stream," Lamagna said.
Each year, millions of pounds of oyster shells go into the waste stream, becoming toxic in landfills. That's why proceeds from Long Wharf's SeaWell sweaters go to helping local non-profit organizations like the Massachusetts Oyster Project.
"Last year they recycled over 25,000 pounds of local shell. This year they recycled over 36,000 pounds of local shell," Lamagna said.
Volunteers partner with local restaurants and collect seashells to be cleaned and distributed back to the water, reseeding local oyster reefs that naturally filter the seawater.
"Over the last few years we've had the ability to directly reseed over 350,000 oysters which filter 17.5 million gallons of sea water in our local communities, every single day," Lamagna said.
It's a full circle in sustainability with each purchase.
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