Surf brand, Quiksilver has partnered with Australian startup, Uluu, for the release of boardshorts featuring plastic-like wax combs made from seaweed. The wax combs are the first product created from Uluu, a material that performs like plastic but is made from seaweed and does not release microplastics into the environment.

The launch follows two years of research by Uluu, developing a process to turn farmed seaweed into a plastic alternative. Uluu’s materials are capable of replacing plastics at scale while tackling global warming and restoring oceans. The ‘Made with Uluu’ wax combs use the first commercially available Uluu product.

Uluu co-founder and co-CEO, Dr Julia Reisser said the wax combs will be a gift with purchase of the Quiksilver boardshorts.

“They’re small, limited items, yet super meaningful,” she said. “They represent our first step towards replacing plastic with materials that are good for the world. Having a plastic-like natural material that’s durable, yet recyclable and compostable, is incredibly exciting. It opens up a range of new possibilities in circular business models across many industries.”

Uluu uses a fermentation process, similar to brewing beer, to maintain a clean production process. The company has developed a versatile range of natural polymers called PHAs that can mimic the durability of plastic but have the added benefit of being biodegradable and free from fossil fuels.

Uluu’s materials are made from farmed seaweed, which removes carbon dioxide from the air and absorbs pollution from the ocean.

Uluu co-founder and co-CEO, Michael Kingsbury said the wax combs are the first step in the company’s relationship with Quiksilver.

“This release celebrates our multi-year agreement with this iconic Australian brand,” he said. “We’re now focused on working alongside Quiksilver to develop and commercialise ‘Made with Uluu’ apparel that’s natural and good for the environment, yet performs just as well as plastic textiles made from fossil fuels.”

Quiksilver brand director, Andy Norling said Uluu aims to replace polyester clothing, without compromising on performance.

“It’s inspiring work towards ending the outdoor industry’s reliance on fossil fuels,” he said. “It’s stopping the release of persistent microplastics while apparel is being used and, ultimately, at the end of its life.”

Receive a ‘Made with Uluu’ wax comb with the purchase of any Quiksilver Made Better Boardshort.