The Story Of Five Ocean’s Fin Keys

What started as a typical Kickstarter beginner’s mistake (offering a reward we hadn’t secured production for yet) has now turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of the entire Five Oceans journey. We’d like to take a moment to share with you the story behind the production of our fin keys…


At the end of our crowdfunding campaign we only had a few orders for the fin key so unfortunately, it wasn’t viable for us to launch it as a permanent product in our range (unlike the ecoFrisbee – but more on that later!)


The issue we faced was how to produce a short run of fin keys most efficiently and cost-effectively. We spent weeks talking with our manufacturers, partner businesses, friends, and contacts coming up with numerous different options – but one option stood out as a clear winner…


You might remember that we were invited to deliver a workshop at a local Gold Coast high school just after the success of our Kickstarter campaign?

Luise at Pimpama State Secondary School in 2015
Luise at Pimpama State Secondary School in 2015


What started as a one-off workshop with the students, resulted in the hatching of an incredible collaboration between Five Oceans,  Jump Start (initiated by Seven Positives Tom Allen) and Pimpama State Secondary College. With Tom’s expertise in teaching design and the facilities of PSSC, we decided to take 25 inspired and motivated future changemakers on a journey through ocean pollution and product development to produce our fin keys.  These students would go on the journey we had been on ourselves – learning about ocean pollution first-hand, cleaning beaches with Clean Coast Collective, visiting a production factory and then finally, putting all their experience to practice in a recycled plastic product.


Pimpama State Secondary College is a well-equipped government school where students have a variety of modern design and production technology at their fingertips, including injection moulding machines and 3D printers. With a full bag of our ocean recycled plastic and after a few trial and errors, the process and parameters for the fin keys were defined and the kids were able to test their skills on the machinery.



The project ran over a number of weeks during the school term and we were able to showcase the success of the collaboration with the Queensland Minister for Innovation, Leeanne Enoch.


Leeanne Enoch discussing recycling innovation with the FiveOceans team
Leeanne Enoch discussing recycling innovation with the FiveOceans team (Photo: Twitter/LeeanneEnoch)


The project also drew the attention of ABC Gold Coast Radio where the interdisciplinary team from Five Oceans, Jump Start and PSSC were able to share the experiences of these unique projects with radio listeners!

Tom Allen (Seven Positive), Adam Jefford (PSSC), and Luise Grossmann (FiveOceans) in the ABC Gold Coast Studio


Tom Allen (Seven Positive), Adam Jefford (PSSC), and Luise Grossmann (FiveOceans) in the ABC Gold Coast Studio


Long story short – we’re incredibly proud to say that with the help of the talented teachers and students we were able to produce the required number of fin keys, as well as one for every student involved. But more importantly, we’re so humbled and proud that we had the opportunity to inspire, teach, engage and open some young eyes about our marine environment, recycling systems and hopefully, one day, we might see these students creating their own world-changing products and businesses!


Each Fin key a unique experience
Each Fin key a unique experience


Five Oceans offers workshops and seminars in various formats to schools, universities, and other organisations about marine pollution, recycling in design thinking, waste management and social impact based on our ecoFin project.


For inquiries please contact


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