Victoria International Marina, in partnership with Natural Talent Alliance and the Ocean Legacy Foundation, announce the launch of an urgent national crowdfunding campaign to raise $500,000 to assist with the critical state of our oceans, which are plagued by plastics. In support of the crowdfunding initiative, and in tandem with the City of Victoria’s Canada Day celebrations on July 1, the ocean conservation initiative Future Oceans will host a sustainable-eco-fashion show featuring wearable art from reclaimed ocean plastics, at the Victoria International Marina at 9pm, designed by winners of an international fashion competition.
“More than five trillion pieces of plastic litter the world’s oceans,” says Chloé Dubois, Executive Director and CoFounder of the Ocean Legacy Foundation. “One only has to witness the record number of marine life washing ashore with bellies full of plastic to realize that something is seriously wrong with the management of plastic waste. Humans are consuming an alarming rate of microplastics, and yet there are still more than 220 million tons of plastic being produced each year. We challenged the fashion design community to find a way to utilize the plastics salvaged during British Columbia clean-up efforts and design creative works of wearable art that will spark an awareness of the problem, but also inspire our ability as a species to innovate solutions.”
The national crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise a total of $500,000 in funds to support Future Oceans and the Ocean Legacy Foundation’s mission to reduce the amount of harmful plastics entering ocean ecosystems, and work with hundreds of organizations and volunteers to coordinate marine plastic cleanup expeditions. If Canadians donate just $5, less than the cost of latte, this goal can be easily met and exceeded, and the lifeblood of our oceans will have a better chance at renewal.
The raised funds will also be used to support research and development into working with patented technologies to process marine plastics into sustainable fuels and other products, identify and develop markets for ocean plastics and derivatives, and fund ongoing costs associated with the Ocean Legacy’s Marine Debris Solutions Sorting Warehouse and transport costs associated with reaching and cleaning remote beaches.
With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announcing the implementation of a nationwide ban on single use plastics by 2021, and the tabling of a bill to formally announce that Canada is in a climate emergency coupled with national news headlines showcasing tons of Canadian plastic waste being shipped to the Philippines and Malaysia, it is clear that environmental issues and the scourge of ocean plastics are having a much needed moment. Each year, more than 100,000 marine mammals — whales, otters, dolphins, sea otters, and more — die from ingesting millions of microplastics. Rarely a week goes by without a story appearing in the news about a dead whale filled with plastics. Furthermore, according to a study by the University of Victoria, recently released this June 2019, humans consume roughly 142 particles of microplastic per day. Future Oceans hopes their innovative project will bring enhanced awareness to this vital challenge and global emergency that all Canadians must face.
The Future Oceans event on Canada Day, July 1, will feature a fashion show of the unique designs created by 10 leading designers selected from over 60 entries by the Natural Talent Alliance. These designs will also mark the launch of 10 new eco fashion lines into the Canadian market. Music for this innovative event was produced through a song writing competition, and the creation of the "Soundwaves" show soundtrack.
“We can correct the course of our wrongdoings and everyone can make a difference,” adds Craig Norris, Future Oceans co-founder. “My team and I promise your financial support will be used to help address the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. We are creating a new circular economy — one that is sustainable at its core and strives to put our ecosystem first.”
Photo: National Geographic