It’s World Turtle Day. And if you’re in need of a little turtle time, jump on over to our Insta page for your turtle fix.
For us though, today is a timely reminder of why, as a brand, we do what we do. Why we chose ECONYL®, a yarn spun from recycled fishing nets rescued from the ocean - amongst other rescued waste - to make The OTHER Bag range.
Our journey began in England, on a visit home. There the plastic bag ban was already in place. We knew at that stage Australia would be following the UK’s lead. But, we could already see from what was available there, that while the reusable tag was being used on many bags there was little attention being given to the environmental effects of the fabrics they were made from.
It was clear there was a gap in the market for something stylish, but our bottom line was that while style was important to us, a fabric that had a positive environmental impact was key. As Bondi Beach locals, with the ocean on our doorstep, we see the environmental damage of single use plastic and waste pollution on a daily basis, and witness there devastating effects on marine life.
Abandoned fishing nets are potential death traps. They’re often found around shipwrecks and reefs - important areas for marine life. There, dolphins, seals, turtles and birds suffer entanglement leading to serious injury and death.
At the time of our fabric search, there was a growing number of Australian swimwear brands using fabric regenerated from waste, and specifically ECONYL®. When we came across this ECONYL® image of the turtle trapped inside an abandoned fishing net, and investigated how we could make the fabric work for us, we realised we’d found our fabric.
Behind @econylbrand is a not for profit organisation Healthy Seas who have made it their mission to clean up our oceans for the protection of marine life. It is their rescued nets that become ECONYL®, the yarn from which The OTHER Bag range is made. Since they began in 2013 - the team of volunteer divers have rescued 453 tons of fishing nets - equal weight to three blue whales - from The Mediterranean, Adriatic and North Seas. Many marine animals have been rescued during their missions and many more trapped animals prevented. We couldn’t be more proud to support their on going work.
In Australia, we support The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the organisation behind the phenomenal conservation work carried out on Raine Island, home to the world’s largest remaining green turtle nesting population. As many as 60,000 female green turtles migrate thousands of kilometres to the island 620 km north west of Cairns, to lay their eggs there in peak breeding season. With the green turtle population severally depleted because of pollution, bad fishing practices, boat related injuries and destruction of nesting grounds the turtles are now an endangered species. The team’s work is vital.
But the island has its own hazards. Changes in the island’s landscape, and new tidal inundation caused by new high tides is killing newly laid eggs which cannot survive underwater. Meanwhile, as many as 2,000 adult turtles in a season die from overturning and entrapment in rocky cliffs and from heat exhaustion on the nesting beach. The team of scientists and researchers working there help ensure the survival of many trapped adult turtles, while their research on the island aims to ensure the life of eggs and hatchlings for the future and future generations.
Cue images of cute baby turtles making their first break for the ocean. We can’t get enough of them. Could watch them all day. Let’s do what we can to help protect them. Happy World Turtle Day. x
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