As I travel a lot, for both my job & for pleasure, I have had to look at what impact my travels are having on both the environment, and also the communities I interact with on my trips. There is a well known motto; ‘Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints,’ which phrases my mentality quite nicely. Many of the places we visit are so spectacular because they are untouched, or at least maintained by an official body to preserve it the best we can. Having said that, it’s not often that you visit places that really seem as if mankind hasn’t touched them yet.
It has also become increasingly important to me to use products & brands that are also looking to positively impact our world and who’s brand ethos is one of sustainability, environmental consciousness and fairness. Many companies still seem to view environmental sustainability as more of a PR exercise, rather than something they truly believe in, which makes its hard to decide which brands you can really trust in.
I swam competitively throughout my childhood and teens and Zoggs has always been a brand that I have worn. They do some fantastic suits for serious swimmers which I’ve opted for over the years but it was only fairly recently that I became more aware of their leisure swim wear and holiday pieces. What I’ve been particularly pleased to learn about however is Zoggs’ commitment to protecting the world for future generations and their work in cleaning up our oceans.
Certainly after watching Blue Planet 2, I hope many more of us are aware of the damage that plastic and other debris in the oceans is causing. Abandoned fishing nets, called ‘Ghost Nets’ are one of the big killers of marine animals, with over 650,000 creatures including dolphins, whales and seals injured or indeed killed because of them each year. Often illegal fisherman dump their nets but equally many legally operating fishermen may lose their nets unintentionally but then not collect them up, culminating in around 640,000 tons of fishing gear being abandoned every year.
Zoggs has come up with a brilliant way to not only help clear these ghost nets but also transform them into a new material. This material is ECONYL® yarn which then turns into Ecolast™ swimwear and believe it or not, Ecolast items start their life as plastic waste such as fishing nets and even old carpets!
The nets are cleaned and shredded before being turned back into a raw material. This new product has been put through it’s paces and outperformed competitor’s fabrics, including being ’15 times more resilient to chlorine than standard swimwear fabrics’. For me this was a big one, as being in and out of the pool daily as a teenager I know too well how quickly swimwear becomes thin and often see through from chlorine.
Zoggs states on the website that;
- Around 40% of our SS19 swimwear will be made from Ecolast™.
- We’ll donate 10% of our Ecolast™ profits to a charity committed to helping our oceans.
- We’re also dedicated to creating packaging that reduces our environmental impact. As such we’ll reduce the plastic used in our goggle packaging by 57% from 2019 with the aim to have 100% sustainable packaging (across our product range) by 2020.
This speaks volumes to me, it’s not a stunt to make headlines, this is not only a lasting committment but a leading example of how companies can become environmentally sustainable whilst still standing for the original values that customers loved in the first place. They have also partnered with Healthy Seas, a ‘not for profit’ who are collecting the abandoned fishing nets as well as raising awareness of the environmental damage the nets are causing.
Whilst I do care deeply about the values the brands I buy stand for, as I’m in the public eye on my television shows I am also conscious of buying visually appealing items too…who isn’t? Zoggs new range for 2018/2019 is full of vibrant, eye catching designs including one of my favourite styles ‘Mexicali’. I’m an active person when I travel and the fit of the suits, as well as the bikinis are stylish yet practical, you’d be as comfortable surfing in them as you would relaxing on the beach. After posting a few photos of the pieces I’ve had lots of compliments about them already, with people admiring the bright designs and in particular the unusual strap detailing on some of the backs.
I’m so glad that a brand I already associated with has made such a commitment to bettering our planet and for me, this only means that I will become more committed to that brand myself.
This article is in partnership with Zoggs, but as always all the views are my own.