Thursday, 17 September 2015

Do Your Bit: Project Ocean

When one thinks of Selfridges & Co, the first things that spring to mind are pretty shoes, exquisite clothes and more pretty things in their shop or website. We doubt the ocean life and plastic waste are in your top ten but its something that means a lot to them, so much so they started Project Ocean.

In its fifth year, Project Ocean is retail activism in action, it's a long-term partnership between Selfridges and The Zoological Society of London to protect our oceans. When launched in 2010 they focused on endangered fish, ensuring that only non-endangered ones were sold and served at Selfridges and began producing the fish guide to help customers work out which fish were sustainable to eat, they also helped to create the Marine Reserves Coalition and raised money to develop the 50-hectare Selfridges Marine Reserve in Philippines. In 2013 they fought against the stereotypes around sharks with a 'Save Our Sharks' exhibition, and committed to ensure all the products in their Beauty Hall are free from shark oil and shark-by products.

In 2014, Project Ocean took centre state at the once-a-decade World Parks Congress in Sydney. A Zoological Society of London delegation spoke to a global audience of charities and government officials about the importance of Project Ocean in shifting consumer perceptions.
2015 sets out to raise awareness of the harm plastic causes to our oceans. In the next decade, our oceans could hold one kilogram of plastic for every three kilograms of fish and 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year - equal to five grocery bags of plastic on every foot of coastline around the globe. Selfridges wants to highlight the dangers of single use plastic, encouraging everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. They are removing all plastic carrier and all still and sparkling plastic water bottles from our store, which will amount to approximately 400,000 bottles a year. Also, not afraid to get their hands dirty, Selfridges team members came together in June to clear plastics from shores of the Thames by Island Gardens.

How you can help.
  • Donate as you dine at their restaurant or cafe. Funds raised will help the Zoological Society of London expand the selfridges Marine Reserve by 5 times, restore the UK's oldest oyster beds and clean up 200 UK beaches.

  • Avoid Single Use Plastics. Soon there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, so it's time we all reduced our use of single-use plastics, Selfridges have banned all plastic carrier bags and plastic water bottles. To help you see through the plastics problem in true Selfridges style, they have brought together an edit of the most fashionable re-usable water vessels in store.

  • Say No To Eating Endangered Fish. If we carry on eating fish in the way we currently do, there will be no more fish in the sea. That's why we never serve endangered fish at Selfridges. Find out with fish you should take off your menu on the Marine Conservation Society Website.

You can pledge your support with the hash tag #ProjectOcean.

This blog falls into our Do Your Bit series which is all about lending your hand to the little things to make the big things happen. Find out more about this series and our others at on our Overview blog or find more in the same series by pressing the "Do Your Bit" tab at the top of the page.