June 8, 2022, celebrated World Oceans Day. A Day that highlights the importance of ocean preservation and beach clean-ups. In Cairo, Egypt, under the mission “Because you protect what you Love,” OceanLove hosted an event that was part bazaar and part seminar with the intention of raising awareness on not only the danger of plastic and waste but also the methods by which people can protect the environment. The women behind this diverse, educational and thought-provoking day, Sarah El Leithy and Raghda Ezz El Dein; both of them summed up this special day in “beauty” and the consistency for pushing awareness through everything they do. Here’s a look back at six unique brands or initiatives from this event that are preserving the ocean with a little extra personality.
Verynile, founded by Mostafa Habib has been on a mission to clean up the Nile with the help of fishermen. Clearing up the misconception that plastic is not upcycled from the Nile, Habib has been working alongside Qurasaya Island to collect the waste material in which they currently make bags, bucket hats and so much more. With all of their items handmade, the sewing machine is the only machine used and all products are co-designed by women to empower them. With a theme of the island, through their work, Verynile consistently aims to empower women and minorities. Moreover, the upcoming project for Verynile includes creating benches from bottle caps.
Bosayna Khaled, operational manager of Villa Sumatra a brand for every caffeine lover. The aim of Villa Sumatra is to make incredible blends of tea and coffee while only using earthly ingredients; Indonesian inspired and working closely with farmers to make sure everything is sustainable. Furthermore, Villa Sumatra has also been taking active measures to preserve the environment such as their latest campaign with RDNA in which whoever purchases any of our blends in a jar, without the use of plastic or any other waste element and whoever uses the jar in something creative and brings the jar back, will receive a refill however if they are unable to be provided with the same product, then they might get a 10 percent discount. Villa Sumatra is one of the brands that is constantly aiming to protect the environment, one coffee cup at a time.
Well World, founded by Hana Galal is all about natural home cleaners. Galal raises awareness in an area that is often not focused on when it comes to sustainability and that is cleaning products and how they can be created without hurting the environment. All of Well World’s products are sustainable, glass packaging with a refill policy. Moreover, all the ingredients used are natural ones that not only benefit the environment but the user too. Ranging from dish soap to laundry detergent, Well World has created several diverse cleaning items with the cause of saving the environment while staying fresh.
An all-natural cosmetics brand, Samra, founded by Sara Tawfik. Their products are created with glass and tin packaging and the brand also teaches people how to create their own natural cosmetics from scratch. Part of their revenue goes to low-income women in addition to teaching them how to do soap from scratch. Encouraging people to be a friend to the environment with their products that say that you can still own beauty products without necessarily harming the environment. From hair masks to perfumes, Samra has something for every woman that will make them feel special.
Thalassains, greek for guardians of the sea; are a fitting name for the initiative’s purpose. Just launched last year where they started off with beach clean-up every month now they do it twice a week. Thalassains has quickly grown thanks to its founder Seif Youssef’s passion and ongoing drive to save the beach and raise awareness to preserve it. Using plastic, Thalassains create lamps and bracelets; soon they will be creating tote bags, mugs and t-shirts which will be produced from eight or nine recyclable items.
Eco Egypt is a campaign launched by the Ministry of Environment and UNDP Egypt. It is the first initiative in Egypt with its mission to support the protected areas within the country, emphasizing the eco-tourist experience. Highlighting the natural and cultural assets of Egypt’s protected areas while putting in mind the importance of conservation. Constantly creating new innovative ways to underscore their mission, their latest has been a virtual reality experience where people can see these protected spots from the comfort of their couch.
While World Oceans is a day in the year, there is so much you can do daily to protect the environment. Mostafa Habib of Verynile recommends: “Start with the bottles and the bags; if you’re buying a bag of chips, it will last for five minutes but they will stay for more than 250 years to decompose.” It is the small steps that change the world.
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