This #WorldOceansDay and beyond we want to share with you some of the devastating issues that our blue plant is facing and showcase incredible sustainable fashion brands we stock at FAIR that are trying to change things and reduce these impacts.
We also have a special window display featuring a poster from Pier 2 Pier, our local beach clean organisation, as part of their poster campaign to get people re-thinking before they leave their rubbish behind on the beach.
Ghost fishing nets
By 2050 we could have more plastic in the ocean than fishes
Abandoned plastic fishing nets are a having significant impacts when it comes to devastating environmental impacts. Not only are they part of a fishing industry that is responsible for fishing way more fishes than necessary, they are also a massive part of our planet’s ocean pollution problem. They frequently get lost in our oceans and seas, becoming ‘Ghost Nets’ and a further threat to marine life.
Ghost nets make up 48% of the waste deposited at the great Pacific Garbage Patch. Drifting nets entangle and kill marine life like seals, turtles, sea mammals and fish.
Ruby Moon Gym To Swim made from ghost fishing nets
One brand we stock at FAIR who are working hard to help clean up ghost nets in the ocean is not for profit active wear brand Ruby Moon Gym to Swim. They upcycle this harmful by product of the fishing industry in something lovely: swimwear and active wear for the sustainable fashion lover.
They have also reduced their impact in other ways incorporating the sustainable development goals into everything that they do from ethical and low impact production to empowering women through micro loans in 14 developing countries.
All their active wear pieces are made from ECONYL® nylon yarn from used fishing nets and other regenerated material. Their fabrics also use waste reducing printing and dying techniques, and certified Oekotex and vegan-meaning no harmful chemicals are used.
You can shop Ruby Moon in store from £45
Plastic pollution and micro plastics
Approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons are in our rivers, seas and oceans
An upside to making things out of plastic is it’s strength, however in our society that champions single use, it is also its biggest weakness. Plastic bags in our everyday life take 10-1000 years to decompose. It never disappears, instead it breaks down into smaller pieces until it becomes invisible to the naked eye and too small to be filtered out.
Only 8% of the plastic produced is recycled. Plastic is everywhere, and has a habit of finding itself adrift in our rivers, seas and oceans, being ingested by marine life and is causing mutations and death when ingested.
Approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons. That is about the same as 1345 adult blue whales and 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy.
Pale Eyewear and Care4Basket turning plastic into wealth not waste
Another brand we stock at FAIR who are working to clean up our plastic pollution problem are Care4Basket who have teamed up with PALA Eye wear, our gorgeous ethical sunglasses brand, to make cases using recycled plastic bags.
They work with local craftspeople in Ghana utilising their traditional weaving techniques to reduce plastic waste and keep plastic out of the oceans and out of our eco systems.
You can shop Pala Eyewear here or try on and buy in store from £70.
Littering on the beaches
At least 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans every single day.
Two-thirds of this is said to comes straight from land based sources e.g. litter being left on the beach or washed down rivers and drains, and litter being dropped in towns and cities. It also comes from industry spills, badly managed landfill sites and bins near the coast and also by being flushed down the toilet. The rest made up from plastic that is lost at sea such as ghost fishing nets.
Although it’s not just beach littering, the amount of litter found on UK beaches has more than doubled in the last 15 years! Most of this litter will not naturally biodegrade for hundreds of years and when it does it often leaves behind toxic chemicals and micro-plastics etc. in the meantime it is left to be ingested by or trap and harm animals of whom the beach and oceans their home.
Artist, Irene Soler raising awareness of littering on the beaches
To bring awareness to the massive production of plastic, Irene Soler created Brighton Beach Souvenirs: postcards picturing litter and beach waste found by her on Brighton beach.
She collected objects during her walks on the beach in front of her home in Kemptown and presented her findings in this shocking photo series. Not only are the things she found really bizarre, just sheer amount is mind boggling. One picture represents just one walk on the beach.
You can buy a pack of postcards in our shop for £4.50.
It’s not just a plastic problem
42% of 18 to 24-year-olds admit to leaving litter behind after a visit to beach
Although plastics consistently make up 60 to 90% of marine litter found on beaches, lots of other things are left littered on beaches which do not naturally biodegrade. Clothing, disposable BBQs, glass bottles, cans and many more things also have big impacts too.
According to Keep Britain Tidy almost one in five people admit to leaving rubbish behind at the beach, with a whopping 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds admitting to leaving litter behind after a visit to the beach.
37% of marine litter comes directly from the public. This is why It’s so important to make sure we Refuse, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle and take whatever packaging or litter we do create home with us or safely into a bin.
Turtle Warrior bracelets made from glass cleared from turtle nests
To help clean up the littering problem at their local beaches in Trinidad and Tabago, Nature Seekers make these beautiful Turtle Warrior bracelets from recycled glass cleared from local turtle nesting spots.
Globally all species of sea turtle found in Trinidad and Tobago are classified as Vulnerable and is considered at high risk of extinction in the wild and it’s important to keep their nesting areas clean and safe.
They also reinvest profits toward sea turtles conservation efforts and raise awareness of the importance of protecting the homes of animals we love.
You can buy a Turtle Warrior bracelet in your favourite colour on our website here or from the shop.
Species becoming extinct
The pollution of our oceans is causing species extinction
A recent study authored by researchers at Plymouth University showed that a staggering 700 different marine species are threatened by the presence of the vast amount of litter in the ocean, especially plastic and this also plays a role in rising extinction.
Research found that 693 species had been documented as having encountered plastic debris, with nearly 400 involving entanglement and ingestion. Between entanglement, ingestion and ecosystem damage, the threat of plastic pollution impacts marine species both large and small.
It’s not just pollution, it’s also really important to raise awareness of over fishing, exploiting them through poaching and also u unnecessarily entangling marine life in finishing nets etc.
BBC Earth X People Tree ‘Our Blue Planet’ T-Shirts and Tote bBags
To highlight the devastating effects our unsustainable practises are having on so many species across the planet , BBC Earth partnered with People Tree to create this amazing collection of organic cotton t-shirts and tote bags. Their campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of looking after ‘Our Blue Planet’, spotlighting two of the most loved and endangered species are the North Atlantic right whales and the sea turtles.
Both of these suffer from plastic pollution, over fishing practices and global warming.
They are also also made from Fairtrade certified GOTS organic cotton.
We are commited to reducing our impact as much, creating as little waste as possible and helping clean up the beaches – Pier 2 Pier Beach Cleans are currently doing a poster campaign around the city and we are supporting them with our window display – featuring their ‘Slam Dunk The Junk’ poster over the next week or so, so please do pop down and have a look and support them however you can.