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An Inside Look At #WorldOceansDay @ The UN 🌊

It’s always a thrilling experience to go the United Nations. It’s been nearly ten years (wow! I’m old) since the first time I attended the Annual Youth Assembly. This Assembly brings together young leaders from around the world to discuss the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, network and discuss strategies for change.

The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations. They target a number of social, environmental and economic development issues:

global goals

Ever since that first assembly I’ve dedicated my life’s work to addressing these goals. (cough: The Green Store) Although I’m no longer considered a youth, 👵🏾 I’ve gone on to attend many more equally inspiring events at the UN. So, I was really excited to get the invite to come and celebrate #WorldOceansDay.🌊

Life Below Water

SDG #14 is all about life below water. The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future and yet we’re polluting it at obscene rates.

According to UN Environment, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away. Today, about 300 million tons of plastic waste every year are produced, nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. If current trends continue, it’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. 

#WorldOceansDay

To highlight growing concern for the health of the world’s marine ecosystems, the UN marked World Oceans Day on June 8th. It consisted of a range of events that both celebrate the benefits that oceans provide, as well as amplify the need to take greater action to protect this global resource.

Hosted in part by Parley.tv the day included talks, panel discussions and film screenings to highlight the important role of creators, innovators and youth around the world figuring out the best solutions.

Albatross

A highlight of this event was a screening of a heartbreaking film called, Albatross. It paints a terrifying picture of how plastic waste is effecting the most vulnerable of the Earth’s creatures. Check out the trailer:

Click here to watch the entire film for free now.

Fashion Innovation

The event also highlighted different brands that are making waves *pun intended* when it comes to finding innovative ways of recycling ocean plastic. For example, Parley.tv recently partnered with Adidas to produce a line of sneakers produced from recycled ocean plastic.

Another example comes from Clean Waves. (check out their website btw it’s beautiful) Clean Waves is innovative platform that connects remote places suffering from harmful materials with urban epicenters, where most of these materials originate. Their first collaboration has produced a line of sunglasses made of recycled ocean plastic.

Every pair has unique GPS coordinates, your link to a specific island and progress towards its protection. 100 sunglasses sold protects one island from marine plastic pollution, for one year. Launching exclusively at Net-a-Porter in editions of 100 pairs.

Look of the Day:

Dress: MSGM via Rent The Runway

Ear Candy: Slate & Willow via Rent the Runway

Shoes: Rothys (Made with recycled plastic♼)

Why Rent The Runway?

The average American woman wears an item of clothing six times before getting rid of it. The unspoken rule is once it’s been seen on IG it’s never to be seen again. Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world after oil and agriculture. Our obsession with fast fashion is killing our planet. We have to make smarter choices about the things we use and buy.

At the same time, we want to look fly specially for special events! Normally, I would just buy something (sustainable/ethical of course) or wear something that I already owned. But in the spirit of thinking outside the box I decided to give Rent The Runway a try. It was surprisingly easy to use. You can rent an item for a few days and just drop it in the mail when you’re done. I’d definitely considered using it again for a special event.