5 Minute Focus On: Tom Cotter, Founder & CEO – OceanR
Tell us about the OceanR
We are specialists in the design and supply of eco-friendly products, mainly for organisations based on or near the water. These include luxury private islands (Richard Branson’s Necker Island is a client!), resorts, super yachts as well as sailing and diving organisations. We have also recently released a corporate collection with a focus on sustainable clothing and gifting packs for teams. Next month we hope to launch our first retail collection – check out our instagram for a sneak peak of our ready-to-wear consumer collection.
All our clothing is sustainably made and manufactured in Europe. We use recycled polyester from ocean waste and landfill, as well as organic cotton, to make clothing items such as swimwear, t-shirts, sweatshirts and rash vests.
It is very important to us that we practice what we preach; for every recycled polyester product purchase we remove 1 kilo of ocean waste. We achieve this via a partnership with Enaleia, a non-profit social enterprise tackling two directly related problems for the marine environment; The reduction of fish stocks and plastic sea pollution.
We also offer an exclusive design service for clients who want to deeply incorporate their brand essence into their workwear and retail offerings. For example, we have designed a really eye-catching range for Necker Island which reflects not only their brand but the natural beauty of the island itself.
What is your role in the company?
I am the founder and CEO. Before setting up the business, I spent many years in Australia managing the training and development department at Yachting Australia. My life-long passion for water sports brought the sea’s plastic problem into deep focus, and when I returned to Ireland I began to research what could be done to help alleviate that problem, and thus OceanR was born.
Tell us something about OceanR that we might not know?
I think I gave it away above, but we do think it’s pretty amazing that Sir Richard Branson is a client, as for someone of his standing to believe in our offering and what we do, well, it’s the best endorsement you can get. We actually work closely with the sister Island to Necker, Moskito, as well.
What’s next for OceanR?
A very exciting year ahead. We’re expanding the team, full steam ahead now covid is over…
We are at a very important stage of our growth, having spent the last 12 – 18 months dealing with a mostly closed market due to Covid – I have been building out our team, getting our sales and marketing engine fired up, and we are now seeing a shift as the world opens and organisations look to invest in sustainability…
What’s your favourite thing about working in Cork?
It’s such a multicultural city which means you have a diverse talent pool to choose from, and the opportunity to meet wonderful people with fresh perspectives and ideas. We are lucky to have a diverse team – our clothing designer is from Brazil and our graphic designer is from Argentina.
What do you like about being a Glandore Member?
Having a full service office space without all of the responsibility in terms of management is a big plus. Especially as a start-up – it’s great to have such a high standard of office space and furnishings that employees love to work in, with great office and kitchen facilities, and of course a fantastic Glandore team that are helpful, professional and friendly.
Friday nights in or Friday nights out?
I’m sad to say that most of my Friday nights are now spent in. The joys of fatherhood.