As some of you may know, Zirkulu was first created from an idea to turn end-of-life fishing gear into a rain jacket. Fishing nets are created using plastics and a lot of nets end up in landfill sites or at the bottom of the ocean. Growing up in Kinsale, a small fishing town on the south coast of Ireland, finding a solution to nets ending up in landfills or the bottom of the ocean was very close to our hearts. Even though we pivoted from trying to turn fishing nets into a material that could be used to create a rain jacket, recycling the fishing nets that are no longer used is still a project that we have been working on ever since our very first conversation.
That is where Mike and Méabh enter the story. Mike is a retired fisherman from West Cork’s biggest fishing port; Castletownbere. Méabh, an Irish wolfhound, is less involved in the recycling side of things but doesn’t leave Mike’s side. Though Mike doesn’t fish any more he is still a very prominent member of the Irish fishing community. Over the past 20 years, Mike has been involved in trying to find a solution for end-of-life fishing gear and has worked with Ireland’s governing body for the fishing industry, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, and Myles Mulligan a fishing gear technologist to do so.
We first had the pleasure of being introduced to Mike in early 2021 and have been working together to find an alternative to end-of-life fishing nets ending up in landfills or the bottom of the ocean ever since. Over the last two years we have been working closely with Mike to find solutions to recycling nets and trying to give back to the Irish fishing communities.
Good things come around