WORLD OCEANS DAY AT SELFRIDGES

Words: Chekii Harling.  Illustrations: Alva Skog


To mark World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Project Ocean, our long-term commitment to help protect our precious oceans, and how our legacy of retail activism has evolved into Project Earth and our commitments for the future. Here we invite you to discover the story of Project Ocean, the pioneering designers developing solutions to plastic pollution and how we’re continuing to reinvent retail for a brighter future with Project Earth. So, let’s dive in…

WORLD OCEANS DAY AT SELFRIDGES

Words: Chekii Harling.  Illustrations: Alva Skog

To mark World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Project Ocean, our long-term commitment to help protect our precious oceans, and how our legacy of retail activism has evolved into Project Earth and our commitments for the future. Here we invite you to discover the story of Project Ocean, the pioneering designers developing solutions to plastic pollution and how we’re continuing to reinvent retail for a brighter future with Project Earth. So, let’s dive in…

Project Ocean: 10 years of retail activism


It all began in 2011 with the launch of Selfridges Project Ocean – when, alongside a store-wide takeover, we banned the sale of endangered fish and created a marine reserve in the Philippines. Since then, we’ve been pushing the conversation forward and made bold commitments to turn the tide on plastic pollution together with you and our partners. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Project Ocean at Selfridges – which has since grown to become Project Earth – we’ve commissioned Swedish illustrator Alva Skog to bring the story to life.

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2011

THE GROUND-BREAKING JOURNEY BEGINS

Project Ocean took over our stores, we banned the sale of endangered fish and created a marine reserve in the Philippines.

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2012

MAKING WAVES

We pushed the conversation forward by founding the Marine Reserves Coalition with leading charities. 

2012

MAKING WAVES

We pushed the conversation forward by founding the Marine Reserves Coalition with leading charities. 

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2013

SAVE OUR SHARKS

We banned the sale of shark oil (squalene)

from our Beauty Halls.

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2014

SPREADING THE WORD

Project Ocean took centre-stage at the once-a-decade World Parks Congress.

2014

SPREADING THE WORD

Project Ocean took centre-stage at the once-a-decade World Parks Congress.

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2015

TURNING THE TIDE ON PLASTIC POLLUTION

We were one of the first to ban single-use plastic water bottles, saving 3.4 million bottles from sale since 2015.

Shop our reusable water bottles and other earth-conscious home solutions below.

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2016

#ONELESS

We led the movement against single-use water bottles, supporting Zoological Society of London’s  #OneLess campaign. 

2016

#ONELESS

We led the movement against single-use water bottles, supporting Zoological Society of London’s  #OneLess campaign.

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2017

THE LAST STRAW

We stopped the sale of plastic microbeads in beauty products and plastic straws in our restaurants.

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2018

KEEPING IT CLEAN

Our team of ‘Green Warriors’ continued to organise beach cleans along the Thames.

2018

KEEPING IT CLEAN

Our team of ‘Green Warriors’ continued to organise beach cleans along the Thames. 

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2019

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

We gave beauty routines a plastic-free makeover and banned single-use beauty wipes. 

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2020 TO THE FUTURE

LET'S CHANGE THE WAY WE SHOP

In 2020, we removed all plastic-based cosmetic glitter from our stores and launched Project Earth – a call to arms for us all to come together and create a more sustainable future. From ambitious material targets to innovative retail models, we’re continuing to experiment, explore and push the conversation forward.

2020 TO THE FUTURE

LET'S CHANGE THE WAY WE SHOP

In 2020, we removed all plastic-based cosmetic glitter from our stores and launched Project Earth – a call to arms for us all to come together and create a more sustainable future. From ambitious material targets to innovative retail models, we’re continuing to experiment, explore and push the conversation forward.

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THE PLASTIC-CONSCIOUS PIONEERS


Meet the solution-focused designers transforming recycled plastic into fashion, accessories and homeware, plus read on to learn more about our Project Earth commitments for the future.

CLEAN WAVES
The global creative platform transforming reclaimed fishing nets and marine plastic

Created by Parley for the Oceans and their collaborators in fashion, music and material science, Clean Waves is a new creative fundraising platform for the oceans using fishing gear and marine plastic debris to create luxury designs. The mission? To use innovative design solutions that help to reduce plastic pollution across all seven oceans – starting in the Indian Ocean with the Maldives. The first collection features a core range and collaboration with artist and activist M.I.A. – shot for the campaign by photographers Inez & Vinoodh. "We're working with the best designers, photographers, artists and scientists and all the net proceeds — the money after cost — is funding the movement to clean up our oceans,” says Cyrill. As a brand operating with full transparency, each of Clean Waves' sculptural eyewear designs features a GPS coordinate on the frames that details the specific area of the ocean that the proceeds from the piece will fund. As the collection grows, customers will be able to track the progress of Parley’s efforts to protect these beautiful, remote locations.

 

We spoke to Cyrill Gutsch, CEO and Founder of Clean Waves and Parley for the Oceans, to find out more about his mission, his environmental heroes, and the communities that have inspired him along the way. Read the full interview by clicking below.

GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE
The inclusive activewear brand working with post-consumer plastic bottles

“We believe that health comes in all shapes and sizes and that representation matters,” says Girlfriend Collective – the community-powered womenswear label crafting sportswear from recycled plastic. “The water bottles have their labels removed, are crushed into miniscule chips, and washed until they are sparkling clean,” says Girlfriend Collective of itsprocess. The plastic is then melted down to create a soft, recycled yarn that the brand transforms into stretchy, figure-hugging activewear in a range of neutral and vibrant colourways. So, how best to care for synthetic clothing with the ocean in mind? The collective recommends washing your Girlfriend piece using a filtered washing bag or microfibre filter to catch any tiny plastic particles that could enter the water system. Another top tip? Always avoid high temperatures when washing and drying synthetic textiles: “This will ensure you can love your Girlfriend piece for a long time. If you no longer have a use for your piece, check if you can recycle them via our ‘ReGirlfriend’ garment takeback programme,” says the team.

SEALAND
The outdoorsy accessories brand putting yacht sails on the map

“Amongst the Sealand family there are endurance runners, surfers, avid hikers and creative trailblazers,” says Co-Founder and Creative Director Jasper Eales, the trained product designer who began creating items he felt were missing in his own outdoorsy lifestyle. Sealand’s bags and accessories are made from B-grade materials (those considered unfit for use), or offcuts generated by manufacturers of yacht sails and nylon ripstop. These sturdy, weather-resilient materials are combined with CmiA-certified cotton and organic hemp. “Materials that can’t be turned into sails, tents or umbrellas, can still make great bags, diverting waste from landfill is one of our core pillars,” says Jasper. The lining inside every Sealand bag is made from reclaimed advertising banners and each product includes a personal stamp of the individual who made it. “We want our machinists to feel pride, and for people around the world to know who they are and be blown away by what they do,” says Jasper.

ZERO WASTE CLUB
Transforming Selfridges packaging waste into essentials for the home

When at secondary school together, Pawan Saunya and Rishi Gupta launched Zero Waste Club. “We discovered that much of the waste we produce in a day is down to a few actions here and there – the takeaway lunch, bin bags, removing make-up – so we made it our mission to provide more sustainable alternatives to these,” says Pawan. Ever since, Zero Waste Club has collaborated with a range of independent artisanal makers to create essentials for the home. For the exclusive-to-Selfridges collection, Zero Waste Club has teamed up with Brighton-based maker Imogen Gray at Gomi Designs to create a homeware line made from Selfridges’ plastic waste – from soap dishes to drink coasters and wireless phone chargers with an artistic marbled finish. “The type of plastic waste we are using doesn’t currently have value in the recycling system,” says Pawan, “so we reached out to Selfridges who was ecstatic about turning its plastic waste into products its customers love.”

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MAKING WAVES IN THE BEAUTY HALL

Since the launch of Project Ocean, we’ve been giving our beauty halls a much-needed makeover – from the packaging right down to the complex ingredients inside your favourite beauty buys. In 2013, we banned the sale of squalene derived from shark oil and have since supported vegan-friendly brands such as Biossance whose plant-based squalene derived from sugar cane lies at the heart of every formula. We’ve removed plastic glitters, microbeads, and single-use make-up wipes across stores – making way for the likes of Eco Glitter, and cult reusable face wipe brand Face Halo, which is beloved by beauty fans across the globe.

Sadly, beauty products often come in complex plastic vessels which are currently difficult to recycle – with 50 per cent of them destined for landfill each year. The solution? Refilling your products in store with us. With lipsticks from the likes of La Bouche Rouge Paris and Valentino and perfumes by everyone from Gucci to Le Labo – refilling is an easy, guilt-free way to give your beauty routine a plastic detox. Want to take this to the next level? Look to Acala and Nut and Noggin for plastic-free products that will brighten up your bathroom.

PROJECT EARTH: OUR FUTURE COMMITMENTS

In 2018, we signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and this year we will be setting a recycled content target for synthetic (plastic-based) fibres. By 2025 we aim for 100% of Selfridges plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable at home, and for 30% to come from recycled sources. We are already working in collaboration with our brands, partners, and suppliers to help eliminate unnecessary plastic across the business. Click here to read more about our commitments to reduce plastic waste.

Apart from our ambitious material targets, we’re also introducing new retail models as part of Project Earth that allow us to close the loop on waste. From repairing a much-loved accessory or pair of shoes, to renting your wardrobe, or finding a treasure from our RESELLFRIDGES range of pre-loved fashion items, we’re giving you more earth-conscious ways to shop.

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PROJECT EARTH: OUR FUTURE COMMITMENTS

In 2018, we signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and this year we will be setting a recycled content target for synthetic (plastic-based) fibres. By 2025 we aim for 100% of Selfridges plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or composable at home, and for 30% to come from recycled sources. We are already working in collaboration with our brands, partners, and suppliers to help eliminate unnecessary plastic across the business. Click here to read more about our commitments to reduce plastic waste.

 

Apart from our ambitious material targets, we’re also introducing new retail models as part of Project Earth that allow us to close the loop on waste. From repairing a much-loved accessory or pair of shoes, to renting your wardrobe, or finding a treasure from our RESELLFRIDGES range of pre-loved fashion items, we’re giving you more earth-conscious ways to shop.

Discover our materials comittments