Ocean Trash: It’s Not OK

Written By
Erin Spencer

“It’s not ok to destroy our ocean. It’s not one person’s problem. It’s everyone’s problem.” — Kelly Slater, world champion surfer and Outerknown founder

Kelly Slater knows something about a healthy ocean. As an 11-time World Surf League Champion, Slater has spent countless hours in marine environments all over the world and seen how beautiful—and damaged—the ocean can be. He has seen first-hand the massive amounts of marine debris and plastic that end up in our ocean, threatening wildlife from whales to plankton. And that, says Slater, is not OK.

When Slater joined menswear designer John Moore to found the Outerknown clothing brand, their mission was simple, yet monumental: to view every aspect of the business through the lens of responsibility. By developing stylish yet sustainable products, their goal was to help protect our natural resources, empower the people crafting the clothes and inspire positive change within the industry.

Now, Outerknown is joining forces with Ocean Conservancy to launch the #ITSNOTOK program to raise awareness about the massive environmental problem of marine trash and inspire people to take action and clean up our ocean.

There’s no doubt about it: ocean plastic pollution is a big problem. An estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste flow from land into the ocean every year, meaning that by 2025 there could be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. And there’s much more to the problem than floating bags, bottles and fishing nets—as many as 51 trillion pieces of microplastic (plastic pieces less than five mm) now circulate in the ocean.

Here at Ocean Conservancy, we’ve been fighting back against ocean pollution for over 30 years. Our annual International Coastal Cleanup has mobilized nearly 12 million volunteers all around the world and has prevented 220 million pounds of trash from flowing into the ocean. But it’s going to take a coordinated effort from all types of stakeholders, including industry, to truly tackle the massive problem of ocean trash.

Outerknown’s new #ITSNOTOK collection includes products developed from sustainable materials like organic cotton. 100% of the profits from the sale of these products will be donated to Ocean Conservancy to support our work to conserve our ocean.

“We’re thrilled to be the first recipients of Outerknown’s #ITSNOTOK campaign to tackle the crisis of marine debris,” said Andreas Merkl, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “The ocean is part of all of us and every single person can help make a positive difference to our ocean and coastal communities.”

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