PADI believes in the enormous power that each of us has to positively impact out blue planet – and with every purchase we make, we’re voting for the world we want. That’s why we love brands that enable us to choose products that lessen our impact on the environment. Here’s a ‘behind the brand’ look at five eco-conscious and innovative brands, straight from the ocean-loving entrepreneurs that started them.


Tom Cotter – Founder & CEO of Rash’R

What does the ocean mean to you?

Freedom. Anytime I’m on the water I feel completely free. Free from work, responsibilities, and technology. It doesn’t happen as much anymore but whether it’s diving, windsurfing, or swimming – it’s just you and the ocean. 

Tell us about the moment you knew you had to form Rash’R? 

The idea to start the world’s first sustainable rash vest company came when we were surfing in Cork, Ireland but it wasn’t until I attended a trade show in Germany that I was educated on how bad the fashion industry was to our planet. It was at that point that we decided to make all our products from sustainable materials.

What things are you most proud of achieving with Rash’R?

I’m proud to look back at how far we’ve come. We started with an idea on a road trip and when we launched I stayed up until 2am packing our vests in pizza boxes ( did I mention our vests come in pizza boxes) and we worked in a shared office space. Last year we took on our first two employees, and by the end of 2020 we will hopefully have a team of fifteen.

What’s next for Rash’R?

This year started so well. I think everyone thought that 2020 was going to be a good year, but then you have a global set back that is completely out of your control. We had big plans to release our new range of ethical clothing by the end of 2020 but somewhat switched our efforts to making eco friendly washable face masks for organizations and communities that need them. As the world re-opens, we’re continuing to work with our partners and to find new and creative ways to improve the fashion industry, including opening a repair/recycling centre for our products.

Check out Rash’R on PADI Gear


Autumn Blum – Formulator & CEO of Stream2Sea

Describe your relationship with the ocean.

I studied chemistry in college because it is the central science – all things are chemistry. My draw to the ocean is the same – we are all the ocean. Without her, there would be no life. She is my serenity, my peace.

Tell us about the moment you knew you had to form Stream2Sea?

I was diving in Palau when I first noticed an oil slick coming off a group of snorkelers. I felt a pit in my stomach when I realized it was from all the sunscreen they had applied. When I got back on the boat, I noticed the fragrant suds running overboard from the shower. At that time, I didn’t know how toxic sunscreen could be, but I did know that shampoos and conditioners could be really harmful. I also knew we could do better, and had my business draft created by the time I got home.  

What things are you most proud of achieving with Stream2Sea?

When I first started Stream2Sea, very few people even thought about what they put on their bodies before they jumped into the ocean. I am so proud of my team for helping to educate our industry. I’m also super proud to have the only mineral sunscreen in the world that’s been tested and proven safe for fish and coral larvae. We also recently passed the prestigious Protect Land + Sea certification that guarantees our sunscreen is free from thirteen common chemicals known to harm reefs.  

What’s next for Stream2Sea?

Because of COVID, we had to shift our production to essentials and launched our eco-safe hand sanitizer.  This has fueled my passion to now create cleaning and sanitizing products that are not only effective, but safer for us and our planet.

Check out Stream2Sea on PADI Gear


Trieu Huynh – Founder & Director of Trshbg

Describe your relationship with the ocean.

I am originally a surfer, but now also a diver. I have deep respect for the ocean, because its waves are so incredibly strong, its complexity is beyond our comprehension, and it is beautiful. It makes me feel humble and part of a bigger universe. The ocean takes care of us, we take care of the ocean. To me, the deal is that simple. And that makes me super happy.

Tell us about the moment you knew you had to form Trshbg?

I was in Bali at my daily surf beach when I saw a huge trash island floating by, 200 yards from the beach, with trash spreading all over the break. It was the size of half a football field – a terrible and frightening sight. I wanted to collect the litter in the water, but there was nothing to use. Afterwards, I was searching the internet for something to wear during the surf so I can paddle, catch trash, and still catch waves. But again, there was nothing. As a designer, I made a quick sketch, and went to a bag making friend in Bali. Together we prototyped the first version, then tested it in surf sessions to improved it in very short iterations. After sharing a video about the product, surprisingly, divers were most excited about the product and that is how we ended up serving the diving community!

What things are you most proud of achieving with Trshbg?

The collaboration with PADI! From very early on, we saw that we needed PADI’s expertise and thoughts on our wearable trash bag. And we are extremely happy to be part of the PADI Gear dive essentials. 

What’s next for Trshbg?

This is just the beginning. We started this a little over a year ago. We will continue to make every diver an ocean cleaner. We are also going to scale up to serve more ocean athletes in helping to cure the planet.

Check out Trshbg on PADI Gear


Derek Redd – Founder of Gili Gear

What does the ocean mean to you? 

Life, Peace, Energy, Memories, Connection, Conservation, and our Future.

Tell us about the moment you knew you had to form Gili?

It was towards the end of a gap year diving around Southeast Asia on the island of Gili Air. I had gone through three dive bags in six months.

What things are you most proud of achieving with Gili?

Organic growth due to being a business focusing on purpose over profit.

Our community of divers is listening… What key message do you want to share?

There are sustainable options out there, so please choose them.

Check out Gili on PADI Gear


Patrick Clarke – Founder of Cape Clasp

Describe your relationship with the ocean. What does it mean to you?

We live on Cape Cod, a peninsula that stretches nearly forty miles into the open ocean. For as long as I can remember, this place has been home. All of my best memories are here and begin or end at the beach. For me, the ocean is an endless source for inspiration, energy, and peace. 

Tell us about the moment you knew you had to form Cape Clasp?

Before Cape Clasp, I loved to bring friends down to Cape Cod and share all of my favorite places and activities with them. One of these friends introduced me to Instagram and I started sharing these adventures on my page. I would hide geocaches for people to find in my favorite spots, encouraging others to get outside and explore. Eventually, I wanted to create a keepsake to hide in these geocaches, first creating a rope bracelet shaped like Cape Cod. I began to receive inquiries from my followers about purchasing these bracelets and this is where I realized the business potential around the idea. I developed a non-profit partnership model with the Cape Cod National Seashore, built a website, and called the brand Cape Clasp.

What things are you most proud of achieving with Cape Clasp?

Donating over $100,000 to marine life non-profits, building a sustainable, climate neutral supply chain using recycled ocean plastic, and bringing jobs to my local community. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to combine their vocation & their passion?

You only have one life, so make it yours! Find what you love to do and pursue it relentlessly – stop treading water and start making waves.

Check out Cape Clasp on PADI Gear


Inspired by these ocean-loving entrepreneur’s stories? By choosing to purchase products from brands (and founders) that deeply care about the health of our blue planet, you’re supporting small business that are turning passion into purpose. Here’s how you can be part of the solution:

– Shop products from these ocean-focused brands on PADI Gear.

– Share your favorite eco-conscious PADI Gear products and brands with friends and family on social media.

– Join our global community of Torchbearers as we Seek Adventure and Save the Ocean.


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