It was whilst surfing in Bali that Gabby Samkova came up with the idea for SomerSide, a towel made from recycled plastic.
“I took up surfing whilst living in Bali, and I quickly noticed how polluted the water was with plastic, it was everywhere. It hit me – literally. I’ve been hit by nappies, plastic cups, a bag caught on my foot and even have a small scar on my ankle from a sharp piece of rubbish that hit me in the water.”
The problem was literally surrounding the young founder. She left the country determined to come up with a solution.
“SomerSide was created as a more sustainable product to keep plastic out of our oceans and forests,” Samkova explains.
Why? Because every minute half a million plastic bottles are NOT being recycled and ending up in landfill or our oceans.
“SomerSide believes strongly in caring for our planet and bringing the most innovative and technology advanced towel to the market. We want to help keep plastic out of our oceans and forests, one towel at a time,” says Samkova.
Using recycled bottles as a basis, Samkova has worked with manufacturers to develop a unique plastic fibre that can be woven to create a versatile material. It takes up to 14 plastic bottles to create one SomerSide towel, effectively removing these bottles from landfill or ocean waste.
After the initial cleaning, the bottles are shredded into flakes and dried. The flakes are then melted down and extruded into fibres. The fibres are then mixed with polymides to create a soft flexible material. The towel’s unique qualities make it sand resistant, super absorbent and allow it to pack down to one eighth of its size.
This versatility was inherent to the product’s development.
“I’ve always been an adventurous and active soul that can’t quite commit to having my feet in one place. Having travelled for years and worked in the travel and sporting industry, the idea stemmed from the necessity to have a versatile and beautiful towel that could be used for every activity. Personal style has always been important to me and I’ve combined that with the functionality and versatility of the outdoors.
Putting her money where her mouth is, Samkova ponied up her savings to get the venture off the ground. She then sought funding through a Kickstarter campaign, amassing some $37k in advance orders, with the first products shipping before Christmas.
Customer feedback has been excellent, with testimonials pouring in. Samkova is now expanding the range to include additional print.
“Everyone needs a towel and when people choose SomerSide they are not only choosing a premium product but they’re choosing not to support products that add more plastic to our current plastic crisis.
“Protecting our environment is very important to SomerSide and myself and we will constantly strive to implement sustainable practices in everything we do. SomerSide is about doing more while using less.”
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