As a materials R&D professional and textile nerd, I have an amazing opportunity to combine my passion for sustainable textiles, ocean research and conservation. On July 30th - August 8th, the Oceanic Society and 5 Gyres are planning a research expedition to the Coral Triangle in Bali, Indonesia. On this sail liveaboard, volunteer crew members will be exploring the biodiverse marine and terrestrial habitats of the Coral Triangle while sampling plastic pollution with dedicated scientists.
With current research showing that microfibers are contributing a large portion of the microplastic pollution and many eyes looking to the textile industry to come up with solutions, I jumped at the chance to join this trip.
As a member of this research expedition, I will be an active crew member and helping take ocean samples. Data collected by all Expedition crew will be incorporated into the organization’s global dataset of microplastics, used in 5 Gyres’ Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution study. In keeping with the “science to solutions” model, a better understanding of the global scope and trends related to ocean plastic pollution will help 5 Gyres monitor the efficacy of upstream solutions over time.
For my participation on this research trip, I need to raise:
($5,375 goes to Oceanic Society. This includes my accomodations in a shared room and food on the sail. The additional $625 will help me pay for travel insurance, and a portion of my plane ticket).
If you would like to support me on this endeavour or learn more about microplastics/microfibers pollution in our ocean, please help me get to Bali by donating $$ to this GoFundMe page. I greatly appreciate any and all contributions, even $5 helps me support this important research with 5 Gyres and Oceanic Society.
For all my funders, I will be updating you on what I learn as I dig deeper into the research and the issue. This will also include attending conferences and hosting related educational events. Topics I plan to investigate are: What solutions does the textile industry already have? How widespread is plastic pollution in our oceans? How do microfibers affect ocean health? What classification of microfibers are causing issues (i.e. what terminology should we be using to reference this issue?), What are biodegradable plastics, how are they tested and do they really biodegrade in the environment? How can fashion brands and consumers make more informed decisions when designing their fashion line or wardrobes?
Here are a few photos from a microplastics research trip I joined on San Francisco Bay hosted by 5 Gyres:
Here are a couple links to learn more about the Microfiber Pollution issue:
-Exploring Microfiber Pollution: Sources, Environmental Impacts, Potential Solutions and Next Steps
-Junk Raft by Marcus Eriksen
Thank you all for your consideration, love and support. Please donate and help me find solutions for the textile industry today!
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