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The British Fashion Council honored Parley for the Oceans with the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the 2018 Fashion Awards held in partnership with Swarovski. Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch accepted the award during the December 10 ceremony at the Prince Albert Hall in London.

Parley for the Oceans was applauded for its commitment to highlighting the devastating effects of plastic on our environment and through collaborations, working with designers to reinvent the way in which products can be made and designed in order to turn a global problem into an opportunity to protect our oceans.

One of Parley’s biggest contributions to the solution is the invention of Ocean Plastic®, a range of premium, eco-innovative materials created from upcycled marine plastic waste intercepted from remote islands, waters and coastlines by its global cleanup network. In 2015, the first products made with Ocean Plastic® put the marine plastic pollution crisis into the global media spotlight and presented a unique solution to a complex challenge — one that diverges from traditional recycling approaches.

Parley sees plastic as a design failure that does not fit into a circular economy. It must be reinvented and replaced by new materials and methods that work in harmony with the natural ecosystem. With Ocean Plastic®, they raised awareness in new audiences and provided an immediate replacement for virgin plastic materials, as well as a fundraising tool for the movement to develop and implement long-term solutions.

Every product made and purchased with a Parley logo empowers individuals in the fight against plastic and supports education, direct action cleanups, plastic waste interception, research and development, and eco-innovation initiatives. Ocean Plastic® is more than a material, it’s a catalyst for a new economy and an invitation to participate in building a new culture and better world. With partners including adidas, Corona (ABInbev), American Express, Stella McCartney and more, Parley introduced a proof of concept for its strategy, Parley AIR (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign), and a roadmap for others to follow.


Says Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch:


“We believe the fashion industry, with its reach and influence, has the responsibility and power to create change, fast. We all have a unique role to play in this movement. Through collaboration and eco-innovation, we can reinvent the ways we live and work on a finite, blue planet. The key is working together. It is beyond encouraging to receive this award and earn the continued support of the fashion industry. But we still have so much work to do. We have to remind ourselves that we really haven’t achieved anything at this point. To ‘wake up’ is one thing, but the destruction of our planet is still speeding up – we didn’t stop it yet. This is just the beginning, and in 12 years, we have to say we’ve succeeded. We’ll look back and say, that was the beginning of something big, the beginning of a Material Revolution.”

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