Jil Carrara discovers some of the brands leading the way for marine conservation and helping to fight the ocean plastic pollution pandemic on World Oceans Day.
Today is World Oceans Day, and it’s safe to say that oceans are vital to us. 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from our oceans, they regulate climate and weather patterns, they host 80% of the world’s biodiversity, and provide millions of people with jobs – helping the economy. You’d think we would respect them and protect them like our life depended on it (because it does), however humankind is having a hugely negative impact on the seas. Plastic pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and the impact of climate change on coral bleaching are just some of the many man-made issues our oceans are battling to survive. But the good news is that we can also have a positive impact – and many brands and businesses are taking the oceans’ fate into their own hands and raising funds and awareness to impact change.
Here are some of our favourite brands that are helping save our oceans:
In 2015, the UN established the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. On World Earth Day 2019, the #TOGETHERBAND campaign was launched by Bottletop in partnership with the UN Foundation, WWF-UK, Project Everyone, to.org, MECA, Global Citizen, UBS, and Eco-Age, with the aim of engaging over a billion people worldwide with the Global Goals. At the heart of the campaign are 17 sustainably and ethically-produced friendship bands made from up-cycled ocean plastic and up-cycled illegal firearms. Today on World Oceans Day, #TOGETHERBAND launches the goal for this month – Goal 14: Life Below Water.
100% of profits from the Life Below Water band will be donated to projects dedicated to the conservation of oceans, seas and marine resources. Get one for you and a friend here.
WOLFORD x ECONYL®
Austrian hosiery company Wolford has partnered with Aquafil, creators of ECONYL® regenerated nylon, to introduce a new hosiery collection made from fishing nets and other nylon waste rescued from oceans and landfills. Read more about Aquafil’s efforts to transform collected oceanic and landfill waste into regenerated nylon yarn.
When two friends decided to go surfing in Bali, they didn’t expect their lives to change completely, nor did they expect to be swimming and surfing amongst mountains of plastic. Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper discovered that local fishermen in Bali were making very little money as the majority of their catch was plastic, and the pair saw an opportunity to support their livelihoods by paying the fishermen to pull up the trash and clean our oceans. Fast forward a few years and 4ocean is one of the biggest ocean clean-up organisations operating worldwide, counting 4,584,870 pounds of trash removed from the oceans. It is 100% funded through the sale of their bracelets made from recycled glass and plastic – each bracelet is able to fund the removal of one pound of trash.
Stella McCartney has long been a pioneer of sustainable innovation and has collaborated with ECONYL® regenerated nylon through various collections and Parley for the Oceans to launch the UltraBOOST X shoe as part of its Adidas range in an effort to recycle ocean plastics. Last year on World Oceans Day, Stella also created a bag made with recycled plastic that you could pick up from any store and use for a beach (or city) clean – why not take inspiration and get your friends and family together to go on a beach clean today?
Sustainable merino wool activewear brand Icebreaker has partnered with ocean advocate Ben Lecomte to raise awareness of the issue of ocean plastic pollution. Ben will swim a total of 300 nautical miles for up to eight hours a day through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – the area with the most concentrated plastic pollution in the ocean. This Vortex swim will not only bring awareness to the issue, but will also help scientists gather data to help debunk the myths around plastic waste in the ocean. Ben is using a net to filter water and catch microplastics for analysis (so far every single sample collected has contained microplastics). You can follow the live progress of the swim here.
Batoko’s eye-catching digitally-printed swimwear is made from 100% recycled plastic waste that would otherwise have been headed for landfill and our oceans. Batoko also supports the Marine Conservation Society as a corporate member, donating a proportion of its yearly profits to the organisation. Look out for its secret sample sales, which help to fundraise for important causes while also giving almost perfect swimsuits a loving home as part of the brand’s ongoing effort to towards zero unnecessary waste.
UNITED BY BLUE
Certified B-Corp United By Blue was founded in 2010, driven by the idea that a successful outdoor brand can do serious conservation work. For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organised and hosted cleanups. So far, it has removed 1,756,888 pounds of trash from the oceans.