The Sway team’s mission is to pair the ocean-nourishing values of seaweed with advanced materials science.

In an effort to protect the places we explore, we’re utilizing Sway’s Certified 100% Biobased packaging made from seaweed for a limited run of John’s signature boardshorts he’ll wear this summer on Sport’s Biggest Stage in Tahiti. 

This limited-edition package is made with kelp sourced from responsible ocean farms that help clean our seas, balance our climate, and enhance biodiversity. Its green pigment comes from a natural, fully biobased dye. Even better? This package won’t pollute — it’s home and industrially compostable after use, creating healthy soil in the process.

Seaweed has flourished on Earth for over one billion years.

Learn More About Sway


Sway is a material innovation startup based in the California Bay Area. They make home-compostable packaging from seaweed. Sway was the first place winner of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize powered by Lonely Whale, and connected with Florence through the subsequent Accelerator program. Florence is one of the first brands to use Sway’s seaweed-based packaging! Learn more at swaythefuture.com.

Originally connected through the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Accelerator powered by Lonely Whale, Florence is a member of the program’s Early Adopter coalition of brands committed to trialing Prize-winning materials. Sway’s seaweed-based material won first place in the Prize after rigorous review by 11 Scientific and Technical Advisors and 19 Judges – including John John Florence. 

The Sway x Florence packaging collaboration celebrates the release of a custom boardshort, marking the first time we’re working together and showcasing Florence’s commitment to innovative materials that help reduce plastic waste to support healthy oceans. Learn more at unwrapthefututure.org.

Thin-film plastic makes up nearly half of all new plastic waste entering the ocean each year. If we don’t act now, annual ocean plastic waste is expected to nearly triple by 2040. What people talk about even less is what plastic is made of: Petroleum.

New biodegradable plastics that are sourced from renewable resources like corn or sugarcane are becoming more common, but they have issues of their own. For example, oftentimes they are resource intensive or don’t decompose naturally.

Sway packaging comes from seaweed, an abundant, low-resource feedstock that replenishes ocean ecosystems as it grows. Sway packaging decomposes rapidly, naturally in home and industrial compost environments, and is designed for scale.

Seaweed is pretty magical! It’s an abundant resource that can help support marine biodiversity, clean our oceans, and combat the effects of climate change.


  • Seaweed creates habitat, boosts biodiversity, and supports the recovery of fish stocks.
  • Seaweed absorbs excess nutrients from runoff (nitrogen, phosphorous) in coastal areas, which helps mitigate eutrophication and harmful algal blooms.
  • Seaweed can combat increasing storm intensity by dissipating wave energy to protect shorelines.
  • Seaweed can help to reverse the effects of ocean acidification by raising the pH in water, and alleviate oceanic dead zones by adding oxygen to coastal waters.
  • Seaweed is highly efficient at absorbing carbon as it grows!

Unlike other biodegradable packaging sources, seaweed doesn’t require arable land, fresh water, or pesticides to grow. Some species can grow up to two feet per day!

Composting is the way to go! Throw it in your home compost, green bin, or any other compost method available. Municipal offerings, farm programs, or private services are often available locally.

In case composting isn’t an option and Sway packaging ends up in the trash, it will break down in the landfill similar to a fruit peel.

In time, we hope so! We’re starting by trialing Sway packaging through this limited edition boardshort collaboration, which will help us understand how our audience interacts with the material and how we can continue to improve. Like Florence, Sway is a young company – we’re excited to grow together!

Sway sources a variety of seaweed species from a trusted, global network of ocean farms that sustainably farm and harvest the seaweed. Seaweed grows abundantly on nearly every coastline in the world – approximately 35 million metric tons were cultivated just this last year! 

Sway takes a responsible approach to sourcing seaweed through impact partnerships that contribute to new research on biodiversity, water quality, carbon sequestration, and social impact. Through these partnerships, Sway ensures the benefits of seaweed farming are maintained with growing demand in this evolving market.