MALIBU, Calif. — Studies show there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s ocean by the year 2050.
Fashion is known as one of the most polluting industries in the world, but one local designer hopes her brand will inspire others to change that.
What You Need To Know
- Studies show there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s ocean by the year 2050
- Environmentalist and fashion designer Andrea Bernholtz has Swiminista, a swimwear made out of the recyclable bottles that often end up in the ocean
- According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds
Every day is earth day for Andrea Bernholtz, an environmentalist and fashion designer who grew up on the beach in Malibu. She recently spent the day cleaning it up with her friends and family.
Andrea co-founded the well known denim line Rock and Republic back in the day, so she’s seen firsthand how devastating the fashion industry is to the environment. Even before it was popular, Andrea explained, reducing her carbon footprint was something she’s always been cognizant of.
"We would take our damaged jeans and we would shred them, and they were used for insolation," she said. "And we tried to be as stringent as we could about any of the pollutants and everything. I think if there’s ways we can lessen and mitigate some of the pollution, the better."
Andrea has now taken it one step further by launching another line called Swiminista. But this time, her swimwear is made out of the recyclable bottles that often end up in the ocean. In a technical process, she explained, they shave down the plastic bottles and weave them into the material that eventually becomes the swimsuits.
But Andrea isn't just making a difference today. She intends on passing these lessons to the next generation as well. Her 9-year-old daughter Barrett already knows she wants to be a marine biologist and can’t leave the house for a walk without her trash grabber.
"Our beaches, they don’t deserve this and especially the animals and so I really hope we make a difference, I think one person can,” Barrett said.
And she is right, according to the Ocean Conservancy. Plastic, such as straws, has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds. Oceana, one of the largest ocean advocacy groups in the world, says the amount of plastic dumped into the ocean every minute equates to 17.6 billion pounds of plastic every year.
It’s shocking to Barrett’s best friend Lorelai to see in real time.
"Beaches really don’t deserve how they’ve been treated," said Lorelai. "We literally have found almost five pieces of trash, which is kind of concerning to me."
It’s why, even at home, Andrea makes sure they use eco-friendly deodorant, dental floss, laundry detergent, and paper towels. She hopes to lessen their footprint in any way possible.
"I’m hoping that this brings some awareness that it’s cool to be clean."