A Maldives island is among the beneficiaries of a fundraising effort launched Thursday with the sale of design-wear made from intercepted and upcycled marine debris.
The first product of the Clean Waves platform by Parley for the Oceans and Corona is a sunglass crafted in Italy from plastics and new forms of marine debris.
“Individual geographical coordinates are featured on every pair of eyewear, directly connecting each pair to a specific place in paradise impacted by marine plastic pollution and through purchase consumers help protect,” according to the global network.
“For every 100 pairs of sunglasses sold, Parley and Corona will expand their commitment and protect one more island against marine plastic pollution for one year. The first edition launches with models linking to islands in Maldives, Palau and Bali.”
The US-based Parley for the Oceans has been working with the Maldivian government as well as resorts, schools and fishing vessels to collect up to 120 tonnes of plastic from the sea every month.
The plastic is shipped to recycling plants and turned into filament and then yarn or fabric.
More than eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean annually, which is toxic when ingested by plankton, fish and other marine animals. Reefs are at risk as corals consume microplastics and are unable to expel the tiny fragments.
In January 2015, 36 million non-biodegradable bags were imported to the Maldives.
“Plastic is everywhere, a design failure which harms sea life and human health. While we can’t phase it out overnight, we can stop making more. Clean Waves is the urgently needed fundraising platform where creators support our movement by designing products from Ocean Plastic®, a premium material made from upcycled marine plastic debris,” said Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans.
According to Parley, the Clean Waves platform will include collaborations from “industry leaders in fashion, industrial design, photography, art, film, music and material science who are equally passionate about the health of our oceans and the development of less harmful, and ultimately non-harmful ways of designing, making and using products.”
In 2016, Germany’s multinational Adidas used plastic intercepted by Parley in the Maldives to create 100 handmade shoes and other sportswear. Parley also presented President Abdulla Yameen one of the first handmade shoes made using Maldivian ocean plastic.
The US$300-320 limited-edition sunglasses are available for purchase exclusively on NET-A-PORTER with a waitlist that opened May 17 on CleanWaves.com.