Text by CLOT Magazine
Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic yearly, but 99% of the plastic that should be floating in the world’s oceans is missing. When plastic is floating, it can be degraded into small particles by waves and radiation from the sun. Then these particles can be eaten by marine animals, and when marine animals eat the plastic, the toxic DDT, mercury or PCBs goes into the food chain.
The issue has become so serious that the UN has tried to investigate it. Early this year, it called for specific goals, “urging all actors to step up actions to, by 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds” and “encouraging” member states to “prioritise policies” that “avoid marine litter and microplastics entering the marine environment”.*
But despite these small advancements, When it comes to safeguarding our oceans and the high seas, we are in uncharted territory. Often literally. Protecting this planet’s life support system takes courage and a commitment to reinvention. Both require new ways of thinking, acting and living, and the strongest projects and ideas in these categories rarely fit within a traditional business model or approach to fundraising.
Through the Parley Ocean Defense Fund, we will connect a network of collaborators to ensure the strongest knowledge, visions and solutions are supported and shared, says Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans, the space and network where creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on strategies that can end their destruction.
Following their philosophy of protecting our ecosystem, Parley for the Oceans is launching the Ocean Defense Fund to support projects that take steps towards ending their destruction and coinciding with the launch of the Ocean Defense Fund, an online auction took place at Paddle8. The auction featured an exclusive experience to join a Parley SnotBot expedition in the Sea of Cortez (Mexico), the first adidas x Parley running shoes, and a limited-edition artwork by artist Ed Ruscha.
The adidas x Parley shoe, the UltraBOOST Uncaged, is the world’s first shoe using Parley Ocean Plastic®. The shoes are made from water-based, environmentally friendly materials and with fabric obtained from plastic removed from the oceans, in particular from coastal areas of the Maldives.
Ed Ruscha is an American artist whose graphic designer background is evident in his works’ acute use of typography. “I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again,” he said of his inspiration. For this auction, the legendary artist presented a limited edition of twenty surfboards made with sustainably sourced wood in collaboration with Firewire, inspired by his original painting “The amazing earth“ (1984).
With this collaboration, Parley is blending art, the universal language, with the surf industry, the messenger of eco-innovation, to spread the need to protect our oceans.