FRANKIE DeGROOT | News | CONTACT
In a win for animal rights groups, Automotive Accessories manufacturer Aunger has finally caved in to public pressure and announced that from March next year it’s iconic Occy Straps will no longer be made from genuine octopus tentacles.
Occy straps (or ‘Octopus Straps’ as they were called at the time) were invented by members of the Aussie surfing sub-culture in the mid 1960’s.
Originally consisting of well-trained octopi which the surfers had found at local beaches, the popularity of the new method of fastening surfboards to station wagon roofs was quickly embraced by the Australian public and from there spread to the world.
As the octopus supply in easily-accessible beaches was impacted by the demand for the new product, an alternative source was urgently needed.
In late 1967, a breakthrough came in the form of squid or octopi deep-sea trawler by-catch.
Instead of being used for bait or ground up to make Chinese baby formula, the tentacles were instead treated, sheathed in a UV-resistant elastic covering and sold in packs of 8.
To compensate for the lack of tentacle-sucky-cup-things, a metal hook was added to each end which allowed the resultant product to grip a variety of shapes and also occasionally blind people in one or more eyes as required.
“We feel very strongly about the quality of our product and have made this decision only after developing a comparably strong synthetic alternative,” said the company, in a brief e-mailed statement.
“We hope our new range of octopus-free Occy Straps will be embraced by all consumers, including vegans.”