Products of change. News

Ocean heroes | Piping Hot talks seaweed and sustainable swimwear ahead of Licensing Expo

Thu 19 May 2022 | 02:29 pm GMT
Rob Hutchins | Products of Change Writer

Piping Hot has recently launched a collection of fully sustainable swimwear with Marvel under its Heroes For the Ocean label

The Australian apparel and swimwear manufacturer Piping Hot knows a thing or two about upsetting the status quo. It was a mantra central to the company’s mission statement when it finally landed on the decision that by July 2021, 100 per cent of its products would be made from sustainable materials. Now we know what you may be thinking. Plenty of others have managed similar feats, so what’s the big idea? The scale of the idea suddenly comes into view when we consider this: that part of Piping Hot’s plan was to make its efforts accessible and affordable to everybody. And that meant finding scalable solutions to some wild material innovations. Today, when it’s not busy landing licensing partnership with the biggest names in entertainment to launch Marvel-licensed Ocean Heroes swimwear collections or continue its mission to divert more than 15.5 million plastic bottles from landfill and waterways, Piping Hot is investing in biomaterial research that includes the development of new sustainable textile made from seaweed. How’s that for status quo? Here, and ahead of Products of Change’s panel session with Piping Hot’s brand and marketing director, Amy Low at Licensing Expo’s Licensing University track next week, we get the rundown from the team on the Piping Hot mission, and where the company is taking sustainable manufacturing in the licensing sector next.
Piping Hot set a goal to make 100 per cent of its products from sustainable materials by July 2021. It hit that goal and hasn't looked back since.
Hello Amy, thanks for chatting with us ahead of Licensing Expo next week. We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming you to the Sustainability 101 session simply because we love everything that Piping Hot is doing right now. As an introduction, can you give us an overview of what that is?  Sure! At Piping Hot we’re on a mission to help families save money and protect oceans. We’ve taken a systemic approach to implementing change – all tied into the ocean. We’ve committed to low impact materials to recue the environmental impact of our products – to save water and energy and conserve resources whose depletion threaten ocean health. All of our products are made with materials that are recycled, recyclable, renewable, or biodegradable. We’ve eliminated virgin polyester from our supply chain. By repurposing single-use plastics into recycled polyester, we’ve diverted more than 15.5 million plastic bottles from landfill and waterways. That’s a fantastic number of plastic bottles, and some truly inspiring strides that you’ve made. As a swimwear company, the ocean and ocean protection is something very close to the team and your values? Where did this all begin, and what have been your biggest wins over the course of your sustainability journey?  We come to a point in business where we recognised that we were contributing to ocean pollution and needed to take action to protect it for future generations. Therefore, we went about it by setting an ambitious goal for 100 per cent of our products to be made from sustainable materials by July 2021. It was an incredible effort to achieve this without losing focus on making sustainable solutions affordable for families. Yes, and this is central to the mission statement of Piping Hot, am I right? That scalable sustainability is all about making it accessible to everyone? Absolutely, we are 100 per cent committed to making sustainable products affordable for families. In fact, partnering with retailers like Target Australia and Walmart Canada give customers access to our products, and together we can make significant impact savings. Scalable solutions really are essential to making sustainability affordable for families and having the support of these retailers makes our product accessible.
The Australian team recently partnered with Marvel to launch a fully sustainable collection under its Heroes for the Ocean label.
Among the big moves that Piping Hot has made to be more sustainable is remove virgin polyester from the supply chain. This is a massive step. What has the journey been like in achieving that goal? What hurdles did you face and how did you overcome them? Certified traceability is crucial to maintaining brand credibility for our recycled content claims. We had a steep learning curve to achieve the Global Recycled Standard at the product level as it touches on operations, production, design, and marketing. Disrupting the status quo to introduce new standards requires commitment across the business. Our singular brand mission made this effort a priority. So, most recently you guys have partnered with Marvel to develop a Heroes for the Ocean collection of swimwear – which looks brilliant! How did this partnership come about?  Thank you, Rob! With the ocean in crisis, we need everyone to become heroes for the ocean. The Marvel team loved our purpose, our mission, and the designs featuring the iconic superheroes from the Marvel universe on our sustainable swimwear. We were all stoked to come together to empower a new generation of heroes for the ocean.
The team is now eager to land further licensed partnerships with the aim of driving ocean protection.
The partnership is a brilliant example of the power of brands and companies leading the sustainable conversation coming together to really engage with consumers. Will you be looking to more collaborations like this to drive that message?  Absolutely. We’re dedicated to ocean protection. We developed Heroes for the Ocean as our collaborative platform to promote ocean action. With the success of our Marvel x Heroes for the Ocean range, we want to expand into other co-branded offers to drive the message. Amy, this has been a great little chat and we can’t wait to learn a whole lot more at Licensing Expo next week. But. Before I let you go, can you tell us what’s next on the horizon for Piping Hot – where do you guys go from here? Well, we are expanding globally and are in discussions with new partners right now about it. With the global issues of affordability and the climate crisis, our affordable and sustainable product offer is well-positioned to deliver value to retailers and consumers. To further tackle ocean pollution, we are investing in innovative biomaterial research to develop a new sustainable textile made from seaweed. This could transform the sustainable textile industry and offer a global solution for clean oceans.
related articles
Shopping for sustainable baby and toddler clothes

Customers shopping online for baby and toddler clothing at John Lewis, H&M, Next and Boden can now download a Google Chrome extension that lets them view sustainability information about products.

Read More

Tue 13 Apr 2021 | 08:12 am GMT

National Trust expands Frugi partnership

New Paddling Puffins collection of organic children’s clothing and accessories celebrates the coastline and the wildlife that calls it home.

Read More

Wed 03 Feb 2021 | 12:20 pm GMT

Etsy targets Gen Z with Depop

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage wares is buying UK-based second-hand shopping app Depop for $1.625 billion.

Read More

Wed 02 Jun 2021 | 06:43 pm GMT

H&M and John Boyega partner on sustainable fashion line

The forward-thinking fashion retailer, H&M has joined forces with Hollywood actor and activist, John Boyega for the launch of a new sustainable clothing range made from vegan leather.

Read More

Fri 08 Oct 2021 | 10:33 am GMT

Most read stories
Aldi gives Easter eggs square bottoms

The supermarket is giving some of its Easter eggs a square-shaped bottom so they no longer need to be supported with inner plastic packaging, eliminating the need for plastic entirely.

Read More

Tue 23 Feb 2021 | 01:01 pm GMT

Bank of America commits to net zero

The company has outlined initial steps to achieve its goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its financing activities, operations and supply chain before 2050.

Read More

Tue 16 Feb 2021 | 09:05 am GMT

Purpose in Parallel | POC's partnerships ambassador Tracey Richardson explores her own 'Stranger Things effect'

Products of Change's Tracey Richardson talks Stranger Things and the collision of parallel universes through the Partnerships with Purpose lens.

Read More

Thu 30 Jun 2022 | 12:11 pm GMT

SILC21: Sustainable Fashion Chain Reaction

“What can we do with our supply/value chains to accelerate the pace of change regarding sustainability?” asked SILC presenter Julia Redman, owner of Buyers Eye.

Read More

Thu 01 Jul 2021 | 07:31 am GMT

Annie Mals receives £500k investment for kids' book series tackling global and social issues

Annie Mals was founded by the award-winning charity fundraiser, Emily Samuels, who has created the brand to tackle big issues including pollution, diversity, and mental health.

Read More

Thu 10 Mar 2022 | 03:30 pm GMT

COP26 | Watch: "Sport has the ability to reach people and find solutions to climate change"

Tottenham Hotspur ambassador Ledley King, the IOC's Julie Duffus, Olympian Hannah Mills, and Planet Super League's Tom Gribbin joined Sport Positive's Claire Poole for a discussion on the role of…

Read More

Thu 04 Nov 2021 | 01:29 pm GMT

Kids can roleplay climate change action in their own sustainable House of Commons thanks to Playpress Toys

Children can now debate climate change action within the walls of their very own House of Commons, thanks to a new partnership between the Houses of Parliament and the independent…

Read More

Wed 05 Jan 2022 | 10:39 am GMT

UK households throw away almost 100bn pieces of plastic a year, finds Greenpeace survey

The Big Plastic Count, one of the largest voluntary research projects into the scale of plastic waste in the UK, finds that only 12 per cent is likely to be…

Read More

Tue 12 Jul 2022 | 12:37 pm GMT