Great Barrier Reef:
Located off the north-east coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most treasured natural jewels. Sadly, warming oceans - as a direct result of climate change - are currently causing the worst coral bleaching event in history on the Reef. In fact, since the UNESCO World Heritage Committee put the Great Barrier Reef on its watch list, up to 50% of the Great Barrier Reef’s total coral has died.
The effects of climate change are being exacerbated greatly by the on-going developments of the coal industry. Currently, efforts to open huge coal reserves in central Queensland will not only continue to increase climate change buy will also cause millions of tonnes of seafloor to be dredged in the Great Barrier Reef to construct massive coal port expansions.
Hundreds more coal ships will pass through the Reef, heightening the risk of accidents and oil spills and negatively impacting coral at a time when the health of the Reef is already in decline.The science is clear: we can have the Reef or coal, but not both. Join Sophie and Add your voice to the global movement of people who have already committed to save the Reef:
Click here to sign the petition
Greenpeace Interview with Sophie
- how did you develop your interest in photography and the idea to print on scarves?
I studied Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion when I lived in the UK, which built my skill and confidence in using the camera and creating images. I moved to Australia about 10 years ago, and lived on a boat in Cairns where I went diving every day, and took a certificate in underwater photography - from there, it seemed natural to use my underwater images in a fashion context. I like the idea of scarves because they're really versatile, and add a really personal touch to an outfit - my mum always wears a scarf, so I guess there was a family connection there too! The scarves have a fluidity that matches the print, so for me they are a perfect match.
- what are your biggest concerns with protecting the ocean/ what inspired you to take action?
I think we are all becoming more aware that our personal choices and habits have a great effect - both positive and negative - on the environment. I think Australians are more aware than most about the environment because we live a lifestyle that is more connected to nature, but there is always more to do. I was in Byron Bay recently and was impressed with the amount of care that most the businesses took - the bars served only paper straws for example, and I saw an impressive number of reusable takeaway coffee cups. I was back in the UK too, where all large shops charge 5p for a carrier bag, which has made a huge impact on the amount used there.
I think the idea that your own daily choices can make an important impact on the environment is really empowering and inspiring. Being able to collaborate with Greenpeace is another step in the right direction in making environmental issues more fashionable and sexy - its not all hemp and linen - I guess its about giving consumers more choices that are environmentally positive.
- what do you think people can do to make a difference?
There are lots of small, daily things we can each do: use re-usable bags, and always say no to plastic bags, do your recycling, pick up plastics on the beach and carry reusable straws and coffee cups - and if thats not possible, then at least say no to the plastic lid. Personally - for my business, I am making efforts to use recyclable materials - card and paper packaging rather than plastic. Choose brands and companies that are environmentally aware and whose morals you agree with - you can vote with your feet, we are each powerful, and we can - and should - use that power to shape a new, environmentally-friendly culture. Lobbying for big corporations to make change may also help turn the tide in favour of the planet - I guess just be as active as possible when it comes to protecting the environment in ways that suit your lifestyle.