Sail Against Plastic
Sail Against Plastic is a collaborative effort between scientists, photographers, filmmakers & artists to expose the hidden and often unseen depths of plastic pollution & make the unseen seen in an enlightening, creative & informative way. The team will not only be producing scientific findings & valuable information but film, photography & art, a variety of mediums digestible & engaging to all ages & audiences.
The team approached us asking if we could support them with our bamboo baselayers & leggings & we could not have been happier to say yes. Our kit provided them with the warmth & next to skin comfort they needed & not only kept them cosy but protected against the cold’s of Svalbard.
Their Key Objectives.
- To unite sailors, scientists, artists, filmmakers, adventurers, biologists and researchers to make the unseen seen, and reveal the invisible pollution destroying our oceans.
- To collect data on microplastics, noise pollution and chemical toxins to add to a worldwide data set, which we hope will go towards informing policies and instigating change.
- To engage with the public. From locals in Svalbard to students on our university campus: we hope our findings will educate and inspire others to make changes to their everyday lives that result in a cleaner, healthier environment.
The team’s 12-day voyage took them to the icy waters of the arctic ocean around Svalbard Norway. This part of the world is an often-unexplored region for baseline studies on plastic pollutants and sits at the end of the Atlantic Gulf Stream which carries a plethora of plastics and harmful waste through our oceans. With globally important marine life & organisms at risk, the potential for harmful impact is a huge concern, we hope the team’s studies & findings help reveal the vast depth of the impact from the world’s use of single use plastics.
Did you know?
• Around 8 million pieces of plastic are currently entering our oceans every single day
• A recent study estimates that 90% of seabirds carry around 10% of their body weight in plastics
• Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the World, and microplastics have even been found in the Arctic sea ice
• A plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment
What the team had to say.
Flora Rendell: We were lucky enough to be supported by Bamboo Clothing, a local clothing company to the south west, who specialise in sustainable adventure-ware! I wore the Women’s Dynamic Bamboo leggings and long-sleeve bamboo base layers daily during the trip, and without which I do not feel I would have been able to withstand those freezing night watches and microplastic sampling trawls at 02:00.
The bamboo top and leggings were exactly what you wanted as a base layer, they were warm, comfortable, soft and did not irritate my skin. Even after 12 days of wear there was no smell from the clothing and they maintained their soft and stretchy feeling.
The added benefit from wearing bamboo clothing, in comparison to polyester base layers and sportswear, is that these items do not shed harmful synthetic microfibres into the ocean when they’re laundered. I am still wearing the top and leggings back in the UK almost every day, they are perfect for sportswear, yoga, gig rowing and cycling, I couldn’t recommend them more to family and friends.
Claire Wallerstein: Who knew that clothes made from bamboo fibre could be so incredibly soft, comfortable and warm? The base layer top and leggings made amazingly comfortable under-layers during the Arctic expedition and I know I’ll be wearing them a lot during the coming winter in the UK too.
Best of all, for me, was the fact these are made from natural fibres and so won’t shed thousands of synthetic microfibres, likely to be harmful to marine microorganisms and consequently the whole marine ecosystem, when they’re laundered.
Given that we were on a mission to investigate microplastic pollution in the Arctic Sea there really could not have been any more appropriate clothing for us to wear.
Ben Porter: It was fantastic to have BAM provide our team with some gear for our expedition to the Arctic this summer. I really wasn’t expecting how comfortable and warm the men’s thermal leggings and long-sleeved top were – I ended up spending every day of our sailing trip wrapped up in these base layers!
The added knowledge that they wouldn’t be shedding thousands of tiny plastic fibres into the environment and were made of an organic material was even more satisfying to know! I couldn’t recommend these enough to friends and family after returning from our trip.
The Viewing & Our Experience.
A few months after the 12-day expedition the BAM team were invited down to Falmouth to not only meet the team but explore the findings, view the fantastic content created & watch the teams film on the experience. It was a great to see the variety of activities and creative mediums used to describe the event (photograph, video, art, music and stories) and their reason for the trip to help us all understand the often unseen impact of the world’s pollution. The amount and variety of plastic & level of pollution found just demonstrates how that individual piece of plastic waste you drop can have damaging effects not just locally but all over the world damaging our wildlife and ecosystems oftentimes to irreparable effect.
You can watch the full film below.