Please select your home edition
Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

How a 200 year old rope-maker is turning the tide on plastic manufacturing

by Sian Killean, Marlow 4 Nov 2020 12:00 GMT
Blue Ocean yarn twisting process © James Pike

At Marlow Ropes we are turning the tide on how we manufacture - the energy we use, the materials we source and the waste we produce. As a leading manufacturer we are ensuring that we operate an efficient and ethical plant, enabling a sustainable future for manufacturing in the UK.

As a rope-maker, Marlow recognises that our activities will have an effect on both the local and global environment and we are committed to ensuring that the negative effect is minimised as far as is practical. With this in mind, we are bringing together our sustainability actions and the eco-conscious products we are developing under the one BLUE OCEAN® brand.

Since 2018 Marlow Ropes have been developing products using sustainably sourced fibres in all of our standard synthetic rope ranges. Most significantly we are reducing reliance on fossil fuels by using fibres either manufactured from waste plastic or natural sources, many of which have launched this year in the Leisure Marine and Arboriculture markets.

"Marlow have worked hard over the last couple of years to eliminate as much waste and single-use plastic from our rope ranges and continue to look at bio-based materials to help us achieve our sustainability goals. We are proud to be making significant changes in the rope-making industry." Jon Mitchell, Managing Director

Overall, the introduction of the BLUE OCEAN® brand is Marlow's mark of sustainability and assures our customers, end-users, suppliers and employees of the on-going commitment and mission to conduct all our operations within an environmentally conscious measured framework. The actions of which are governed by these company-wide BLUE initiatives:

  • B - Being proactive and measured in our commitment to reducing and eliminating our negative environmental impact.

  • L - Less is more. Continuing our quest for less energy, less plastics, less waste, less carbon and less emissions.

  • U - utilising our global position as a market leader and authority in rope manufacturing to be a key advocate for sustainable change across the rope industry.

  • E - Educating ourselves and our stakeholders to do better, be better and act responsibly in all areas of our business.

Throughout our 200 year history, the ability to innovate has kept Marlow moving forward in the way we manufacture. And now, at a time where it couldn't be more important, it is this thirst for innovation and the commitment of Marlow's management team, which has enabled us to adopt new rope-making processes and materials with sustainability at the core.

It's an exciting time for Marlow's future and over the coming months we'll be sharing more of our Blue Ocean story and the results of our BLUE initiatives.

For more information visit

Marlow Ropes Sustainability - photo © Marlow

Marlow's BLUE OCEAN® yarn is GRS certified and manufactured from 100% recycled waste plastic bottles collected from disposal units across Europe.

The bottles are manufactured into recycled polyester (rPET) to produce a yarn which has the same specifications and technical characteristics as polyester yarn manufactured using virgin feedstock.

Provided it has not been mixed with any other chemicals or fibre materials, BLUE OCEAN® yarn can be recycled again at the end of its life, therefore aiding a circular economy.

Marlow Ropes Sugar Cane Packaging - photo © Marlow

Marlow eliminated the need for most plastic packaging in 2019 and introduced Polyair™ bio-based recyclable plastic packaging in 2020 in areas where plastic is still required to either preserve or protect the product.

Made from sugar cane waste, PolyairTM is biodegradable, carbon neutral and 100% recyclable. It is seen as proactively green as it is derived entirely from an organic product, capturing CO2 from the atmosphere whilst it is growing.

Polyair™ is recycled as LDPE 04 (low density polyethylene).

Marlow Ropes Post-Production Sustainability - photo © Marlow

Thanks to Marlow's heritage and global reputation in rope manufacturing, we now have a platform to make sustainable change in the industry. The knowledge we have acquired through selling into a diverse marketplace enables us to work with other leaders of industry and rope manufacturing associations for the betterment of all. A key part of our sustainability manifesto is collaboration with partners and associations that share our sustainability goals.

Related Articles

Marlow Youth Ambassadors announced for 2022
Attracting a high calibre sailors in the programme's second year Marlow Ropes is delighted to announce four new Youth Ambassadors to the Marlow Ropes UK Youth Ambassador Programme 2022, attracting a high calibre sailors in this, the programme's second year. Posted on 18 Mar 2022
New from Marlow Ropes - the D2 Club
New colourways and lighter weight New colourways and lighter weight from Marlow Ropes Posted on 2 Mar 2022
Marlow sponsor 2022 Sailing World Regatta Series
The largest and most popular weekend amateur racing series in North America Marlow Ropes are excited to announce its sponsorship of the 2022 Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series - the largest and most popular weekend amateur racing series in North America. Posted on 22 Feb 2022
Applications now open for Marlow Youth Ambassador
Inviting applications from UK youth Waszp, 29er, Topper & Kitefoiling sailors UK Marlow Youth Ambassador applications are now open Posted on 1 Feb 2022
Marlow Ropes engage youth sailors during SailGP
As Official Rope Supplier for SailGP Inspire Program Marlow Ropes is pleased to announce its partnership, as Official Rope Supplier, with SailGP's Inspire Program - the global league's community, education and outreach initiative. Posted on 20 Apr 2021
Marlow Ropes UK Youth Ambassador Programme
Have you got what it takes? The Ambassador programme is an opportunity for the rising stars of the Class Associations to work with a global Leisure Marine brand who work with some of the top sailing and racing teams in the world. Posted on 23 Mar 2021
Rigged by Marlow: Herrmann & Hare
The Vendée Globe history-makers For Marlow Ropes, the 2020-21 Vendée Globe has been a highly anticipated, history-making race, electrified by two inspirational Marlow-rigged skippers. Posted on 3 Mar 2021
Marlow Blue Ocean® Doublebraid
We chat with David Mossman about the rope, which is manufactured from 100% recycled plastic bottles We chat to David Mossman, Leisure Marine Sales Manager at Marlow, about Blue Ocean® Doublebraid which is being launched at the virtual RYA Dinghy Show 2021. Posted on 25 Feb 2021
Marlow Ropes partner with Ian Herbert Jones
As the UK Skipper prepares for the 2022 Golden Globe Race Marlow Ropes are proud to announce that they are the Official Rope Supplier for Golden Globe Race 2022 skipper Ian Herbert Jones. Posted on 27 Nov 2020
SailGP forms partnership with Marlow
Global league to use Marlow's eco-conscious rope range through 2022 Producer of the most environmentally responsible ropes on the market, Marlow will serve as Official Rope Supplier to the global league and will feature onboard SailGP's innovative race boats through 2022. Posted on 29 Oct 2020