TWOTHIRDS emerged from a lifelong love of the ocean. Through early trips to the beach and a passion for surfing - our individual stories have been gently shaped by the sea. So when we came to create our brand eleven years ago, we put the ocean front and centre. Countless tides have come and gone, but one thing hasn’t changed: the necessity of protecting what we love.
Did you know, for example, that the ocean has absorbed more than 90% of all excess heat since 1955? Or that the ocean is the world’s largest carbon sink, helping us to survive at its own expense? Carbon dioxide absorption causes the ocean to acidify, which in turn triggers coral bleaching and species extinction.
Then there’s the issue of plastic waste, which can now be found in all corners of the planet - including the deepest ocean trench. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year - a tragedy of planetary proportions. Fashion plays a part in each of these issues. Rather than treat the ocean as liquid landfill, we’ve made it our mission to tackle them as best we can. This blogpost walks you through the key ways that TWOTHIRDS protects the ocean.
- Ocean-friendly Materials
- Better Packaging
- Climate Neutrality
- Clean Energy
- Our Community
1. Ocean-friendly Materials
The fashion industry’s reliance on unsustainable materials is harmful for the ocean. Conventional cotton (the second most popular clothing fibre in the world) is made with large amounts of water which is rarely returned to waterways clean due to the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides. While it may not be as simple as “cotton = ocean pollution” there’s little doubt it has an indirect bearing on marine health.
TWOTHIRDS reduces the water footprint of our clothing by turning to materials like organic cotton and linen which rely more on natural irrigation. We also use botanic fibres like TENCEL™ Lyocell, which have a smaller water footprint than regular cotton. All the water used in the manufacturing of TENCEL™ Lyocell and its sister products is recycled, and cleaned before being returned to river and marine ecosystems.
Wherever possible we avoid the use of virgin plastics like nylon and polyamide which have a high carbon footprint and are non-biodegradable in both land and marine conditions. Indeed many of the eco-friendly fabrics that we use have a lower carbon footprint than fast fashion materials, helping to prevent ocean acidification. Meanwhile our use of recycled materials (which is ever-increasing) also reduces our impact on the ocean. By recycling what already exists we can preserve natural resources and ensure that emissions are controlled.
This even extends to our swimwear, which is made from recycled plastics - taking a material that often has a negative impact on the ocean, and repurposing it to be enjoyed on the beach. That’s what we mean by ocean-friendly!
2. Better Packaging
Another way that TWOTHIRDS protects the ocean is through packaging. Rather than use disposable and harmful materials like plastic, we pack our parcels in cardboard boxes (cardboard can be recycled up to 20 times or more) and brown paper bags. After all, it would make no sense to devote a great deal of time crafting beautiful sustainable products if they were then wrapped in something that could pollute the ocean.
3. Climate Neutrality
In 2021, TWOTHIRDS turned climate neutral. This involved the monitoring, reduction, and offsetting of our carbon emissions. In learning more about our impacts, we found that our carbon footprint was already 31% lower than a company of comparable size, due to our pre-order system.
Meanwhile our offset project was specifically selected for its pertinence to ocean protection. The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Indonesia is a highly regarded conservation project that fortifies coastal ecosystems and protects an ecologically rich habitat from destruction. All told, we offset 3,097.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide this way, equivalent to our entire footprint for 2021. Because of the ocean’s titanic role in absorbing excess CO₂, we view this as a big step in its protection.
4. Clean Energy
It is the responsibility of brands to push for a clean energy transition within the industry. We do this by encouraging our suppliers to install solar panels. By 2023 we hope to work with at least two that run on renewable energy. Previously, as part of our climate neutral pathway, we put solar panels on the roof of our office allowing us to run almost exclusively on clean energy. Our company car is electric.
When we moved into a new office this year, we sadly had to leave the solar panels behind. But every cloud has a silver lining; we like to consider this a positive legacy for the next residents!
5. Our Community
None of this really matters without the customers who support our brand. Each of you protects and celebrates the ocean in unique ways: informing us about how to reduce plastic waste, save water, and be more eco-friendly. In the past we have also partnered with NGOs to help your purchases drive change. By working together as part of a 300,000 strong community we have the ability to create a better future!
We believe that the ocean is the most unifying feature on earth. It is the source of life itself and sets the planet apart from the rest of the (known) cosmos. It is also simply a wonderful place to be! Perhaps the best thing we can all do to protect the ocean is therefore to keep on enjoying it with our families and our friends, thereby becoming ambassadors of the sea.