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Sustainable Design and Material Futures

Ocean Plastics - How are the Creative Industries Responding to Plastic Pollution?

Ocean Plastics - How are the Creative Industries Responding to Plastic Pollution?

 RACHEL HIGGINBOTTOM  Founder of Tactile Trends

RACHEL HIGGINBOTTOM

Founder of Tactile Trends

In 2011 I went snorkeling in the Caribbean sea, just off the coast of the Cayman Islands. It was like exploring a technicolor dream world,  the flora and fauna were just too beautiful for words.

A nostalgic image of this underwater scene has remained with me as a benchmark of beauty and now becomes my motivation to act. What I see of the Caribbean sea right now in the media is mind blowing in a very different and disturbing way. In this article from The Telegraph you can see images captured by environmental photographer Caroline Power of tides of litter including plastic forks, straws and bags. 

We know we have an ecological catastrophe on our hands in the way of plastic pollution but what can we do as individuals? 

Being a fashion designer I am deeply rooted in the textile and materials industry and have chosen to focus Tactile Trends February issue on ocean plastics. The aim is to raise awareness of the problem through artists and organisations and present material solutions through products and bio-fabrication.

Below I have highlighted what I believe to be the key points.  I'll be looking to brands, businesses, artists and designers to help me deliver a message of optimism and action.


A Benchmark of Beauty

What is your benchmark of beauty?

Lets consider our personal relationship to the ocean and its creatures. What does it mean to you to protect it?

What is your benchmark of beauty? Picture it every time you want to choose convenience. 

Images: Photo by Thomas Beckett on Unsplash

“People protect what they love.” But they only love what they know.
— Jacques Cousteau

Awareness

How can we make companies and people care enough?

Creating awareness of a problem is the only way to get people talking and most importantly caring. When we care, we share and collaborate. 

During the February issue Tactile Trends will be looking to artists using their creative talents to spread the word about plastic pollution.

Image: Tides of plastic collect in the Caribbean sea, taken by Caroline Power

It is estimated that up to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic enter our seas worldwide every year. The sea is choking and can’t cope.
— Greenpeace

Retrieve & Recycle

How are brands taking responsibility to close the loop?

Key individuals and companies are putting significant research and development behind ways to retrieve and recycle ocean plastics into innovative products that serve as agents for change. 

Tactile Trends will be highlighting projects that recycle ocean plastic during the February issue.

Image: 3D printed sneaker sole made from recycled ocean plastic // Courtesy of Adidas x Parley Plastics

 

Be mindful of your consumption. I think the one thing we’ve forgotten is that we make the choices.
— Stella McCartney

Mindful Consumption

How can we live a plastic free life? 

How we approach materials plays a big part in the non-plastic lifestyle. As consumers we are getting serious about how we can replace plastic in our houses and businesses, which is seeing an increased interest in homegrown and D.I.Y.

During the February issue of Tactile Trends we will be looking at  emerging trends and other ways consumers are embracing plastic free options. 

Image: Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

We need to defend diversity on land and in the sea and we need solutions, and these solutions can only be realized by harnessing the imaginative side of human culture – the arts
— Parley
mycoworks-01.jpg

Bio-Fabrication

 The Material Revolution

Growing materials from the living cells of fungus, algae and other organic matter could provide  answers when it comes to a plastic alternative.

Tactile Trends look at some of the innovative research studios and summits that are embracing and collaborating in the laboratory to find material solutions that grow back into our earth instead of damaging it.

Image: Myco Works


Stay Tuned

Here are some ways you can stay tuned to the Ocean Plastics Issue:

Sign up to the newsletter to hear updates on Ocean Plastic month here

Share your opinion on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by tagging your posts with #tt_oceanplastics

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