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Exploring Our Team's Unique Connections With The Ocean

5 min read

Exploring Our Team's Unique Connections With The Ocean

Whether it inspires joy, humility, or fear, we carry a little of the ocean in each of us. It is in the air we breathe, the water we drink - and maybe even, the farthest corners of our minds. If a person dreams about the ocean (or so said Carl Jung) they’re really picturing the vastness of their unconscious. 

No surprises, then, that when we interviewed members of our team, they had fascinating things to say about the beautiful blue! Gerardo and Manu were kind enough to share their unique perspectives on that which unites all of us at TWOTHIRDS. The salt, the sand, the surf, the sea.

Gerardo Barrera - Head Of Customer Service - Passionate Paddle Surfer

Born in Mexico City, Gerardo moved to Barcelona 5 years ago. Not long after, he happened to glance through the window at our old office in Gràcia and was drawn to the “cool start-up vibes”. Who could have guessed that he’d one day become the charismatic Captain of our Customer Service team?

“I’ve told this story many times,” Gerardo says, “because it made me believe in the power of wanting something.” 

What is your first memory of the ocean? 

The ocean for me is a memory, the memory of when the whole family - uncles, aunts, parents - used to hang together at the beach. I remember spending all day playing in the sand and not wanting to leave the sea. And then the frustration of not being able to get in the water the next day because I was so sun-burnt! 

So it brings me happy memories from a good time. When I was at university, I used to get in a car and drive along the Pacific coast of Mexico, looking for new beaches. It was very cheap but also (as a student) I was very poor so when I ran out of money I would spend the last two weeks fishing with locals and getting the food prepared by the people in town. 

That must have left quite the impression on you?

It had a big impact. I remember that we’d get up early to go fishing and we were super tired by the evening. We’d have a beer, play football on the beach, have dinner and go to bed early. This routine broke something in my mind (!) because, at the time, I was aiming for the kind of lifestyle that society tells you to pursue, but this showed me that life can be far simpler. 

The sad part of the story is that most likely all of these places will disappear. Firstly the war on drugs has made travelling this way in Mexico very unsafe. The other issue is hotel construction, which was already undermining local communities when I was there. I think that changed something in me too as I wanted to make a difference. Maybe I’m not doing it directly, because right now I’m living in Barcelona! But working with a company that has ethics - especially regarding the ocean - that feels right. 

Tell us more about paddle surfing?

Paddle surfing has been eye-opening for me! I’m not really a sporty person, but this I can do as it doesn’t feel like a sport; it’s kind of like hiking in the ocean. What I love is when the sea is rough, and as soon as you start thinking about something else, Boom! you fall off. This means you have to really read the waves. And be there, be in the moment. 

I think that my most overwhelming experience lately was going paddle surfing in Costa Brava, where I felt very small. First of all it was amazing to look at the horizon and not be able to see beyond it, an effect you don’t get everyday in a city. The water is also very clear there, so if you see a dark blue patch then you know it’s very deep down below. That immensity helped me to connect with myself and with nature. Which gave me some energy to move forward in my day to day. And I think more people need that. 


“I worry because the ocean is going through a negative metamorphosis.” - Manu


Manu - Pattern Maker - Nature Lover

Our wonderful pattern maker Manu grew up in the middle of nature, between forests and mountains. She calls this a “privilege”, hoping that her son - who was born in Barcelona - may come to appreciate the country as much as she does. “For sure, he has inherited my love of mountains!” says Manu. 

Why TWOTHIRDS?

I liked the idea of working for an ethical company that was very distinct from fast fashion as I have worked in that system before and had become aware of the impact it has at the level of people and the environment. So, it was fantastic to find something that was in agreement with my way of life! 

What is your relationship with the ocean? 

For me, it’s clear that the ocean forms a part of everything. It’s not separate from nature, but is rather like any other element. Now that it is being heavily impacted by human activities, my relationship with the ocean is one of worry. Considering that waters are warming, coral is dying and there are tons of plastic in the sea, I’m very worried. I think that the ocean is going through a negative metamorphosis. And I hope that, at least, people grow conscious of that. They say that “unity makes strength”. A group can achieve many things together. 

How do you connect with the ocean these days? 

Now I try to feel as close to the sea as possible, given that I live near the Mediterranean. I’ll go there nearly every weekend, enjoying the cold water (which is now not so cold…). But in summer I will say that it can be quite exhausting. Because of overcrowding, you see jet skies, boats, and too many people. That’s a pity I think. 

I also miss the immensity of the Atlantic ocean, which seems to demand respect from its visitors. It’s so big that nothing can dominate it.