Seas Socks are partly made from old fishing nets which were left behind or got lost in the ocean. A portion of the proceeds from the organization goes towards the prevention and education on the dangers of the so-called Plastic Soup.

Seas Socks by virtualtimecapsule on Sketchfab

Healthy Seas Socks are one of the hundreds of initiatives of the 21st century aimed at combating the processes of climate change. The socks are partly made from old fishing nets, which leads to a healthier marine ecosystem as it avoids excess plastic soup (Healthy Seas Socks, n.d.). This product, therefore, not only provides an alternative to conventional socks, but it also stands as a symbol for major issues of the 21st century: evolving technologies and the current fight against climate change.

21st century socks

The 21st century has been a time of great promise and great stress. In the negative sense, many individuals and groups have gone through numerous hardships, such as deteriorating health issues and climate troubles. Nevertheless, in the positive sense, the 21st century has also been characterized by technological advancements, socio-cultural shifts and scientific accomplishments. One negative narrative, which has been specifically prominent in news and public conversations, is about the plastic pollution of the planet and the environment. However, even though the pollution of oceans by means of plastic has been happening since the early 20th century, the 21st century has been characterized by countries, organizations and individuals focusing on (technological) solutions for this as part of the climate change movements.

When looking at the Healthy Seas Socks initiative from within this framework, it becomes clear that the socks represent more than just a nice, colorful materiality that may replace ordinary socks. The organizations Healthy Seas, Ghost Diving, Aquafil and Star Sock have made it their mission to produce socks from regenerated nylon in every imaginable print, color and size to make the socks more attractive for various audiences. The sales and profit made from selling this commodity product are, then, used to gain even more support for their fight against the plastic pollution of oceans by using advanced technologies.

Healthy Seas Socks, thus, fit perfectly within the narrative of a 21st century time capsule, as they represent major changes and challenges of the current world.

from plastic waste to socks

One major movement that really took off during the first quarter of the 21st century is the climate change movement, as more and more individuals became aware about the deteriorating effects of the emission of greenhouse gases on the environment (Gunningham, 2018). From 2018, when the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg called for stronger action from governments and organizations against climate change by initiating school strikes, the topic of environmentalism really blew up across the world (Maher, 2021). Adherents of this social movement participate in various activities – from public demonstrations to lawsuits – in order to pressure political institutions and commercial organizations into mitigating or adapting to climate change (Gunningham, 2018; Klein, Schipper & Dessai, 2005).

“The modification of these fishing nets into socks by the Healthy Seas organization represents the beliefs and values present in the 21st century.”

The organizations Healthy Seas, Ghost Diving, Aquafil and Star Sock are part of the climate change movement as they utilize their combined knowledge in order to mitigate climate change. The diving up of the so-called ghost nets does not merely lead to a healthier marine ecosystem as corals get the chance to grow again, marine animals do not get stuck in them and extra plastic soup is prevented (Healthy Seas Socks, n.d.), but it also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. As the fishing nets break down into smaller pieces over time, greenhouse gases are set free when sunlight and heat cause the release of methane and ethylene. Furthermore, the small bits of plastic are ingested by marine animals, which prevents them from absorbing carbon dioxide but moreover prevents them from releasing oxygen (Edmond, 2022). By removing the fishing nets from the oceans, then, less plastic gets the chance to pollute planet earth.

The fishing nets, thus, contribute to the plastic pollution of the oceans, but moreover to the acceleration of climate change processes by producing greenhouse gases. However, the modification of these fishing nets into socks by the Healthy Seas organization represents the beliefs and values present in the 21st century: working towards a sustainable and healthy earth by counteracting these climate change processes.

technology and society

The 21st century has brought about some of the most advanced technological developments by human beings, as is represented by the technology and society theme. These developments have significantly changed the ways in which individuals from different communities and cultures live, as they are provided with new opportunities but moreover with more complex challenges (Bobsin, Petrini & Pozzebon, 2018; Fryer & Granger, 2008). It is even argued that for societies to develop and evolve, it is necessary to keep innovating different technologies as they may answer the needs of society. It has, indeed, always been the case that there is a co-dependent relationship between societies and technologies: invention and innovation of technologies represent the very essence of the wants and needs of societies (Wardynski, 2019).

The four different stages of producing Healthy Seas Socks

An example of this is how the organizations Healthy Seas, Ghost Diving, Aquafil and Star Sock work together to extract the so-called ghost nets from the oceans and transform them into regenerated nylon. The regenerated nylon is then combined with organic cotton in order to create a product that has been a commodity for people for centuries, but this particular sock contributes to a better and healthier world. This technological story behind the Healthy Seas Socks was initiated, just like all technologies are initiated, with the wants, values and beliefs of society in mind. The technology, indeed, is used to achieve progress regarding climate change by diminishing the amount of plastic pollution, but it might even lead to a change in human behavior – someone might recognize the importance of choosing Healthy Seas Socks over an ordinary pair of socks so as to contribute to a better world.

representation purposes

Apart from being a technological solution to climate change, Healthy Seas Socks are also part of the fashion world. Fashion and design have always been part of representation and identity processes: how you dress is one way of communicating your ideas and beliefs to the world. ‘Semiotics of dress’ is the term used to identify the non-linguistic ways in which individuals present their identity to themselves and others (Rubinstein, 2000). In this way, clothing pieces become symbols for greater social memberships (e.g. prolife t-shirts or Amish attire). So, just like Happy Socks stand for the expression of the self through color, creativity and fun, Healthy Seas Socks are purchased and worn by those individuals who believe in climate change movements. When the meaning or intention behind a certain piece of clothing or other bodily accessories is known, on the collective level this leads to others recognizing the beliefs and values of the person wearing it. In other words, wearing Healthy Seas Socks signifies to the wearer and others that they stand for the fight against climate change.

healthy seas socks in the 21st century

All the above taken together shows how a technological advanced, yet simple, commodity product can be representative of a larger narrative: the 21st century. It not only represents one of the most talked about civil social movements by trying to counteract processes of climate change through reducing greenhouse gases. Rather, it also signifies how advanced technologies help change societies for the better and how individuals express themselves through pieces of clothing.


Name: Seas Socks

3D Model

Creator: Mariosé Bergsteijn 

Date: 17-01-2022

Place: Landgraaf, The Netherlands

Themes: Environmentalism

Captured with Nikon D750 camera (40mm), tripod, lightbox, lazy susan

Processed with Agisoft Metashape Professional Software run on Windows 10 (64-bit)


Physical Object

Size: 32 x 7,5 cm

Weight: 44 gr

Material: plastic (regenerated nylon), organic cotton, elastance


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