Building a Startup and a Brand to De-Risk Ocean Plastic

Building a Startup and a Brand to De-Risk Ocean Plastic

Championing the clean-up of vulnerable waterways from canals to coastlines. Oceanworks helps divert plastic from the oceans and enables brands to transform it into sustainable and socially conscious consumer goods.

The Oceanworks founding mission was to remove the tons of plastic currently polluting our oceans and repurpose that global resource by using it in new product development. Aly Khalifa, a co-founder of this leading ocean-plastic marketplace, scoured the planet for ocean plastic supply chain partners and greatly expanded the global pool of ocean-plastic-ready manufacturers by working closely with them to customize and test systems and machinery.


Product Innovation for Oceanworks Customers

Premium Zippers from Ocean Bound Waste

While working with key partners in Sri Lanka, we discovered that most colored ocean plastic PET was not making it into the textile supply chain. Knowing that most zippers are dyed black or brown, we instigated YKK to help incorporate this new opportunity into their product line.

A Tiny Button with a Big Impact

Oceanworks relationship with Outerknown (a Kelly Slater brand), led Positive Company to develop ocean plastic into circular-economy-ready buttons for their most sustainable trousers. The buttons include molded-in material designation, the year and coordinates to signify where it was harvested in Haiti. 

The First Ocean Plastic Credit Card

Positive Company, as a part of the Oceanworks team, worked directly with the visionaries at CPI to concept, engineer and overcome key technical challenges to manufacture the first credit card incorporating ocean plastic.

Positive Company (previously known as Designbox) and the manufacturers, together with Oceanworks, developed a trustworthy group of suppliers, and successfully worked with ocean plastic materials to launch several products in the market. Working directly with consumer brands, Positive Company helped Oceanworks source, design and manufacture verified ocean plastic material into finished products, replacing virgin plastic with recycled and removing it from its path to the ocean.

De-risking Ocean Plastic for Consumer Brands


Developing one of the first draft standards for ocean plastic verification
Aly Khalifa led a verification program and developed one of the business world’s earliest draft standards on ocean plastic verification, leading to his participation on the 3R standard. This standard enables monitoring material content and chain of custody from collection through final product, and provides brands the assurance their product is made as specified and ethically harvested and handled.



Feasibility, Design, Material Selection, Engineering, Supply Chain Development, Production Support.
Designbox led the Oceanworks product design and development efforts internally and for clients. This development is complex, multi-faceted, and requires collaboration and relationships with sustainability and materials experts around the world. A few examples of projects we fostered are shown above.


Providing marketing and communications support to fit into existing brand and business goals

Designbox developed the Oceanworks brand strategy and brand assets and usage guidelines for customer use. These marketing pieces allowed customers to add their ocean plastic commitment and efforts to their brand story without having to rework their existing brand. Oceanworks marketing included a dedicated place for supporting brands on the Oceanworks website, informational product tags, messaging, photography and infographics.

A Comprehensive Brand Package

Positive Company directed and developed the initial start-up Oceanworks brand strategy, story and messaging, brand assets and usage guidelines. 

  • Brand identity and standards
  • Logo and business cards
  • Messaging and voice
  • Website Design and writing
  • Brochures design and writing 
  • Infographics
  • Google Slides Presentation Master
  • Google Suite docs masters so that anyone on the team could create custom information in a cohesive branded way.

Positive Company also developed a co-branding program for customers to use to celebrate their positive environmental impact and use of Oceanworks Ocean Plastic in their own marketing programs.

Brochures, Presentations & Information Templates

Infographics & Icon Design

Web Design & Development

Full Suite of Services

    • Strategy, roadmap and feasibility consulting
    • Product engineering and design for performance and circularity
    • Qualification and support for nominated suppliers
    • Full turn-key product development of new products
    • Quality control management and reporting
    • Branding, communication and marketing for company and product launches