Merging fashion and conservation to protect our ocean
WWF-New Zealand is joining forces with Arise Collective to help clean up our oceans through fashion! Together, they’re introducing Aotearoa to these stylish, sustainable sunglasses upcycled from a dangerous commercial set net (gill net) from the Northern Great Barrier Reef.
Their collaboration aims to help keep marine life safe and our oceans clean. Each year an estimated 98,228 marine animals, including dolphins, dugongs and turtles, are caught in these deadly commercial set (gill) nets on Queensland’s east coast. So in 2018, WWF-Australia supporters bought and removed the last full-time commercial gill net from the northern Great Barrier Reef.
The net was cut, melted, and moulded into these one-of-a-kind sunglasses called ReefCycle. Originally launched in Australia, the sunnies are now available for purchase in New Zealand with 50 percent of all proceeds going back to WWF for its essential conservation work. Every pair purchased helps to remove even more plastic from our oceans thanks to the expansion into New Zealand.
“Arise Collective, as a brand, stands for helping to build a better world and we really believe that this initiative is helping to do so by making our oceans cleaner one pair of sunglasses at a time”, says Julia Ritchie, Arise Collective brand manager.
The grim statistics show 8 million tonnes of plastic, including harmful fishing nets, end up in our oceans every year. The collaboration between WWF and Arise has directly helped make a dent in this terrible reality by not only removing the net, but upcycling it into something useful. With 50% of the proceeds going back into further conservation work through WWF-New Zealand, your purchase also helps support their work from sea to sky to ensure Kiwis are living in harmony with nature.
“WWF-New Zealand is thrilled to partner with Arise to bring ReefCycle sunnies to Aotearoa. We are passionate about using innovative solutions to solve our environment’s greatest problems. Not only are we protecting our ocean wildlife and minimising waste, but we are able to upcycle them into a fashionable, fun project that helps fund our vital work now, and into the future,” says Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO.
ReefCycle sunglasses come in three different lens colours (brown, grey and green) and can be polarised or non-polarised. They cost $99 for regular, $149 for polarised, and a prescription option is also available.
Remember- the more sunglasses sold, the more plastic we can remove from our oceans.