On day 4 of 30 Days of Ethical Fashion, I would like to share a brand which I discovered on Twitter and which supports a cause which is really close to my heart.
In 1995, when I was studying Environmental Life science at University, I spent a few months on a remote island in Belize (Central America), working on a conservation project to map the biodiversity of the coral reefs. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had, I spend all day and some nights scuba diving and listing the hundreds of species of coral, fish and other animals that I saw. I saw sharks, turtles, rays, dolphins and so many other amazing sights. The island was jungle and lagoon in the middle and a beach area around the outside. I camped on the beach in a tent with a group of about 20 or 30 others and we lived a pretty simple life with freshwater pumped from a well, electricity from a generator and the supply boat only arriving once a week with supplies. I had 2 weekends off when I travelled to Guatemala to trek into the jungle and go caving and visit Mayan ruins and also visited a more touristy island.
Any how, the studies that I completed at Nottingham University made me well aware of what a beautiful, essential and delicate ecosystem the coral reefs are. Belize has the second biggest barrier reefs in the world (after the Great Barrier reef in Australia) and compared to many of the coral reefs of the world, it is still relatively unspoilt. Coral Cay Conservation, the organisation that I worked with was instrumental in having the Belize Barrier Reef declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Sophie Rogge is an artist and designer. She has been inspired by the beauty of coral and worked in the Bahamas on an underwater art exhibition. Her current collection of sarongs featuring beautiful coral designs are perfect for wearing on the beach and make a great Christmas present for someone with a winter sun holiday planned. They can be beautifully wrapped and are light to post. 10% of profits from the Coral Collection go to Corals for Conservation, an organisation working with fishing communities and the tourism industry to conserve the coral reefs that they so much depend upon.
The collection of sarongs are available from online shop www.sophiarogge.com. Sophia is also working on collaborations with other creatives… there is a short story competition in the pipe line w United Agents entitled ‘Coral Love’, and she is lending her coral patterns to a dress designer who will use them on one dress out of her 12 piece collection (with the profits going to coral conservation).
If you have never dived or snorkelled on a coral reef, I think this collection definitely captures some of its beauty.
Which place or part of the natural world inspires you most?
With warmest wishes
p.s. If you would like to catch up on any of the previous posts in my 30 days of ethical fashion series, you can do so here.