For World Ocean Day, we look at inspiring ocean-conscious brands and organisations helping our oceans stay alive.
Our oceans play a fundamental part in our lives. They help us breathe, regulate our climate, give us food, offer a form of transportation, provide jobs, and ingredients for medicine. The ocean covers around 70% of our planet, sustaining life for all living organisms. And even though it provides us with indescribable benefits, the ocean needs our support now more than ever.
Ninety percent of big fish populations are depleted and over half of all coral reefs are now destroyed—all because of humans. Our planet won’t be able to keep functioning safely without these organisms and without our ocean being healthy.
But as June 8 approaches, World Ocean Day, our blue planet’s ocean is taking centre stage. Officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008, World Ocean Day came to life to inform the public of the impact of our actions on the ocean, develop a global movement for the ocean, and to unite the world on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
Ever since World Ocean Day took traction, hundreds of ocean-conscious organisations, events, campaigns, and brands have created waves of change in their communities. Through their undeniable love for the ocean and their dreams of a better and bluer planet, they’ve led beach clean-ups, reduced plastic pollution, protected marine life, and supported other non-profit organisations. These companies are inspiring many others to do the same for our oceans and we’re grateful for them.
Given at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris, it’s easy to see why some brands are focusing their efforts on manufacturing items that are recycled from plastics. The chic, Hong Kong-based towel brand, SORA, does just that. It creates gorgeous, lightweight towels designed by a group of female artists that don’t weigh on your conscious as they are made from 85% recycled materials, with at least eight recycled plastic bottles in each towel. SORA is changing the towel game and what better way to enjoy the ocean than by relaxing on its shoreline on an eco-friendly towel?
From beach towels to ocean-wear, not only can you look and feel good relaxing on an ethically-made SORA towel but you can now also hang loose in the ocean with sustainable yet durable wetsuits. The eco-friendly brand, Turtl Project, is committed to maximising our access and enjoyment of the water without impacting its diversity by creating products that are made from 100% sustainable materials. Their neoprene wetsuits avoid harmful petroleum-made neoprene, and if that wasn’t enough, they also significantly reduce the amount of CO2 used during their production process. Not to forget, you’ll look good in the wetsuit’s white turtle logo and aquamarine lines and will be able to catch all the waves you want, as they retain their high performance without impacting the environment.
And if you’re playing by or in the sea, you can’t go without a resilient case for your smartphone. CASETiFY, a Hong Kong-based brand founded in 2011, makes sustainable phone cases and electronic accessories from upcycled phone cases. Their process is simple: after collecting used phone cases, they grind them down to small particles, mix these together, and create entirely new, recycled, resilient, and stylish cases that have artistic flair. Given there are more mobile devices on Earth than humans, it’s about time companies found innovative ways to make sustainable accessories for them.
As far as plastic-fighting brands go, Bali-born 4ocean is perhaps the most renowned business that is on a mission to end our ocean plastic crisis. Their premise is simple: to pull out harmful debris out of the water in exchange for products. For every product you buy on their site, they pull out one pound of rubbish from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines. Since 2017, they have removed over 23 million pounds of debris from our waters and shores. From this debris, they create magic. What we mean is they close the manufacturing loop by taking these recovered ocean materials and turning them into new products, including beachy bracelets and t-shirts. In turn, these products help raise awareness for the cause and more people buy their products—a perfect loop.
When it comes to closing loops and uncovering loopholes, Hong Kong’s well-established Oceans Asia organisation takes the ticket as an all-round ocean-protection unit that focuses on ocean conservation. From targeting plastic pollution and investigating the shark fin industry as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to traditional Chinese medicine practices and more, this organisation sticks its fins into as many investigations as it can to bring to the surface how industries and businesses are harming our oceans. Co-founded by two sea lovers in 2019, the team works with the latest technologies and uses research techniques to bring to justice those who are destroying and polluting our marine ecosystems.