In response to huge consumer demand, ethical fashion is on the rise. Although perhaps unlikely partners at first glance, the fashion industry is teaming up with conservationists to help protect the largest reef on the planet: The Great Barrier Reef. Located off the Queensland coast in Australia, the reef stretches across a staggering 2,300km – and is in desperate need of help.
This spectacular marine environment is one of the most popular dive sites in the world, home to diverse sea life including over 1,500 species of tropical fish and 134 species of shark. But with a shocking 93% of the Great Barrier Reef now thought to be affected by the phenomenon of coral bleaching – caused by climate change and rising sea temperatures – this unique habitat is under greater pressure than ever before.
Luxury online fashion retailer YOOX have partnered with Australian designers We Are Handsome to create an ocean-inspired range of swimwear and activewear. The YOOX Loves the Reef project aims to raise vital funds for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of this exclusive line will be donated directly to the charity.
Founded in 2000, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation supports varied scientific projects and research in the fight against coral bleaching. Projects include both short-term and long-term innovations, on the ground and in the labs.
Some projects aim to monitor and protect the endangered species that call the reef home, such as the green turtle or the rare dugong. Others are tasked with tackling the problem of reef damage head on, through research into coral DNA or developing artificial surfaces where coral can regenerate and grow. Its cutting-edge technology like this that is hoped to be the Great Barrier Reef’s best chance of survival.
Its not just marine wildlife that relies on the reef. The habitat also brings over $6 billion a year and 64,000 jobs to the Australian economy through tourism, diving and scientific research. Further evidence that the support of everyone from individual consumers to the fashion industry is a must.