We live and breathe the ocean.

Salty Monkeys is a First Nations owned and operated brand that makes adventure apparel and dive gear. We like high-quality and sustainably sourced, with some of our products made up from 100% recycled materials.

In the Torres Strait, we have the saying mura mabaygal, which means “everyone.” This past year we launched our first-ever Youth Leadership Workshop on Badu Island, and every year we’re looking to expand. We foster a sense of community through teaching effective leadership and incorporate things like beach clean-ups and marine safety. We’re also leading a Marine Development Program as our effort to minimise incidents and fatalities at sea, our “blue highway” in the Torres Strait region, where travelling by boat is just as common as driving a car.

We collaborate with Indigenous artists to design our products, including our upcoming ecofinZ, slated to debut in 2024—Australia’s first freediving fins made from recycled plastics. We’re guessing you’ll just be barefoot until then.

How we got started:

In the Torres Strait, you don’t have to go to the store to get food—the ocean has always provided it. This is how we began: as spearfishermen. Back in 2017, we started a YouTube channel called the Salty Monkeys, named after these monkey masks that we wore in good humour as we documented our boating adventures throughout the islands so that we could share with a few of our mates. But before long, we had over a quarter million views on our channel, and realized that our small group was becoming a much larger community.

We’re still making videos now, but we’re also making a lot more than that, too. It’s important to us that our apparel and gear are not just high-quality to hold up against ocean salt and sun, but that it’s made ethically too so that we’re not contributing to the debris in our oceans. We’re proud to say that we’re one of the few brands that offer towels are made from 100% recycled materials, as well as many other products nearing this threshold. For our product designs, we work with a handful of Indigenous artists so that we can further preserve First Nations culture. It helps that their work looks cool too.

We’re always striving to do more for our oceans and planet, which is why we’ve created the Marine Debris Task force to collect data from community beach clean-ups, and work with professionals to spark innovative solutions, where we can see this marine debris as a potential resource once it’s taken out of the water and off our beaches. Additionally, we’re running the Marine Development Program around the Torres Strait, which aims to reduce incidents or fatalities at sea as a result from inadequate training and safety measures. Community is paramount to us, and we’re always looking to strengthen our connection with each other, our history, and our natural world.

We hope that you’ll dive in with us. The water’s a little salty.

Dennis Fay

Founder of Salty Monkeys, Dennis Fay, was born and raised in the Torres Strait, and grew up spending as much time in the water as on land.