Fashion is inevitably a visual language where everyone is free to express themselves, such as from the clothes they wear, the shoes they wear, and also the way they pair accessories with them. However, it is true to say that fashion has a very negative impact on the...
Recently in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 129 billion face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves are being used and disposed of every month. Most of this waste ends up in the Earth’s waters – to the extent where there are now more masks than jellyfish in the ocean. This has caused detrimental effects to marine life, with turtles mistaking masks for jellyfish, and subsequently suffocating as a result of our actions. This is only one of a multitude of examples. Our goal at POCEAN is to make it easier, and more accessible for everyone to implement sustainability into their everyday lives. We achieve this through the sustainable production of biodegradable products, of which profits are redistributed to multiple beneficiaries. We aim to help others achieve sustainability, affordably, to leave no excuse or ‘difficulty’ in acting greener.
Our ‘SERIES I’ collection features the Biodegradable Abaca Fibre Mask. Due to the pandemic and the insurmountable plastic waste it is creating, our committed team of King’s College London students researched for months before finally conceptualising this idea. Through the support of Enactus KCL, POCEAN now proudly sells an eco-friendly alternative to surgical masks that are just as – if not more – effective at protecting people. As explained in an article by Bloomberg Green, a preliminary study by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology found Abaca paper to be more water-resistant compared to commercial N95 masks, and to have pore sizes within the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended range to filter hazardous particles. In fact, the Abaca fibre is just as durable as polyester, but will decompose within 2 months, rather than tens or hundreds of years. Abaca masks are not only biodegradable, but can be washed and reused for up to 4 months. They have better filtration capacities than regular masks, and are sustainably produced. Its superiority to surgical and cloth masks is countless, no longer clogging up landfills nor suffocating turtles.
As the Philippines is the world’s largest producer of Abaca, POCEAN has chosen to outsource production to the local farmers and artisans in the province of Bicol, who would otherwise be unemployed if not for crafting these masks. A portion of each mask bought from them not only supports their families, but also goes towards a drive for students of the Dumagat Tribe. These masks are eco-friendly – yes, but they also provide monetary aid for the locals of Bicol – something POCEAN finds to be just as important during these trying times. Help the planet and its people in need.
After masks are sold, POCEAN takes the profits and invests them in a Sea-bin, which will further help collect plastic waste in the ocean. We have essentially implemented a ‘prevent and extract’ reduction strategy – the Abaca masks prevent the use of more wasteful surgical masks, whilst the Sea-bin helps extract the current waste. Our ‘Pocean Life-Cycle’ clearly illustrates our business model and thinking.
POCEAN strongly urges you to step back and reflect on your actions. Have you been sustainable where you could be? Have you gone out of your way to ensure you protect not only yourself but the world around you? Have you thought about your impact on others? The environment is a living, breathing system – one that we are constantly suffocating. This is your chance to be part of change. Be that breath of fresh air and give back to the place that so selflessly blooms around you. The place that gifts you food, water, air, shelter – and so much more.
Let POCEAN be your first of many steps forward. Choose POCEAN, create a cleaner tomorrow.
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