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Saving The Oceans Through Fashion

By Patrick Chew

 
 

“Do you know that every second breath we take comes from the oceans?” Anja Rubik, Polish model, activist, and guest editor for the June issue of Porter Magazine, asks. It is a simple question that brings to mind a far deeper one — why are we actively seeking to destroy something that, incidentally, gives us life? 

That is the argument that Porter has highlighted in its Summer Escape issue, which features a 63-page ocean portfolio, shot exclusively in the Maldives by acclaimed photographer Mario Sorrenti. Sorrenti’s images show the harsh reality and impact of plastic pollution and calls for consumers to become more responsible, rethink standards and embrace eco-innovation.

 

“This issue is dedicated to our beautiful seas and protecting our oceans. From the moment Parley first presented to our editorial team, each of us has been inspired to make changes to our own lives,” Porter’s editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans says.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight,” Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch adds. “It’s a process, and once people have made the commitment we are there to help them realise it.”

It is worth noting that this project, which will run for two months across Porter Digital, daily digital content published on Porter.com, under the hashtag #PlasticNotFantastic, is making use of fashion (the second most pollutant industry in the world — outdone only by oil and gas) as a medium to bring about change.

 

At first glance, it may seem a tad ironic. But on closer deliberation, however, this is perhaps just the type of systemic evolution that needs to happen that can really affect change, rather than merely shift the needle. 

Everyone has their own definition of what sustainability means to them. And it is apparent that Porter and Parley have chosen not to simply cut back on the negatives, but rather to focus solely on the positives.

 

This week, Net-a-Porter launched Adidas x Parley for the Oceans sneakers — a four-style collection made entirely from up-cycled ocean debris. Additionally, Net-a-Porter will soon launch Corona x Parley for the Oceans Limited Edition Clean Wave Sunglasses made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, as part of a fundraising platform aimed at boosting the use of innovative materials.

Ultimately, consumers need more than just moral reasons to buy better; they need convincing arguments. It is up to fashion labels to start showcasing beautiful products that were made in a truly beautiful and meaningful way. “The fashion community can drive the movement – we can create trends,” Rubik says.