The release of The Plastic Age brings Parley initiatives into the spotlight
Documentaries about environmental and social crises can be difficult to watch. They force us to confront the hard-to-swallow truths we typically try to avoid. It’s easier to bury your head in the (microplastic littered) sand than it is to face the disheartening, unsettling and embarrassing facts of our current predicament. Denial is a powerful thing. So is knowledge — and action, too. We’re growing the Parley movement accordingly.
In the new i-D documentary, The Plastic Age, director Jake Sumner portrays the enormous and mounting problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans alongside Parley efforts to turn the problem into tangible progress towards a solution. The film features our 'RAW for the Oceans' collaboration with Bionic Yarn, G-star RAW and Pharrell Williams, who co-designs the denim collections.
Without question, the facts presented in The Plastic Age are less than encouraging. There is currently more plastic in the oceans than there is phytoplankton, the bloodstream of every living being now carries synthetic chemical contaminants, the most remote areas of the ocean are marred by swirling vortexes of discarded non-biodegradable pieces of civilization…the list continues. This is the reality of our situation. We are not only living in an age of plastic, we are literally plastic. In less than 20 minutes, however, Sumner manages to balance the bad news with an overarching message of hope.
Raising awareness is the first step, and one half of our mission at Parley for the Oceans. What follows is the welcome and critical alternative to the aforementioned denial and head-burying, that is, actually doing something.
Captain Charles Moore, who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, sums it up nicely in the film:
“We make the weight of every man, woman and child on Earth in plastic every year. Can you imagine if we recovered that and reused it?”
Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch echoed this notion of opportunity in his segment of the The Plastic Age, and in his speech introducing the film at its London premiere. When we look at plastic waste, the millions and millions of tons of it floating in the oceans, we’re presented with a choice. We can choose to do something about the problem. Even better, we can choose to do something with it, to turn it into an asset.
To accomplish this, Parley works to unite partners in every category of every industry to develop new ways of doing business, and to create a new standard for fashion that’s as economically feasible as it is ecologically and socially responsible. 'RAW for the Oceans' is an example of the good that comes when creative people put their heads together to produce innovative solutions.
Of course, recycling and reusing ocean plastic is only a part of the solution — and a necessary way to raise awareness and funds for combatting a highly complex problem. To continue in the right direction, it's imperative that we make more sustainable choices in our daily lives, and work towards developing new materials and viable substitutions for plastic in the long term.
“Humans adapt. And one of the ways they’re adapting is by turning this mess into other new products. They’re doing science, they’re doing research, they’re communicating and they’re being creative. That’s what we do — that’s what we humans do so well.” - Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
It’s not too late to turn the issue of ocean plastic pollution in another direction. We can shift our attitudes, our perspectives and our habits. Indeed we have no other choice; our lives depend on the health and vitality of our oceans. With knowledge come responsibility — and the opportunity to create positive change.
Join Parley in turning ocean plastic waste into highly valuable material. In less that 20 minutes, you can take a stand for the oceans. Watch The Plastic Age now: