Imagine Bali. A tropical paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is a beautifully sunny day, and I have decided to enjoy it by grabbing my surfboard and hitting the waves. I slip off my sandals and feel the warm sand beneath my feet as I walk towards the ocean. The sunshine catches the surface of the water and bursts into a million fragments of sparkling diamonds as far as the eye can see.
It is pure bliss.
But, as I paddle away from the beach, submerging my arms in the water, my fingers brush against something beneath the surface. I look down and there it is... plastic waste.
Can you guess how many pieces of plastic that are currently floating around in our oceans?
It's not a million, not a billion, but OVER 5 TRILLION pieces of plastic!
It is unimaginable but true. And it is not just floating around undisturbed; Plastic waste causes a severe threat to marine life. Especially dumped fishing gear and abandoned ghost nets.
In my research, I found that there are around 640,000 tons of fishing nets floating around in the ocean. According to a 2018 study in Scientific Reports, ghost nets make up at least 46 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Every year ghost nets are responsible for trapping and killing millions of marine animals including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and birds.
The deadly effects of ghost nets can even be felt far from their point of origin because they drift with ocean currents for years or even decades. As the nets travel vast distances, they continue to catch and kill marine animals in a process called "ghost fishing". Because most modern fishing nets are made of nylon or other plastic compounds, they are incredibly durable. Ultimately, they can drift around the oceans for ages, continuing the circle of devastation for decades.
I might have discovered the problem in Bali, but travel anywhere around the world, and you will see that the issue of plastic pollution has affected every corner of our planet.
After living on Bali, I understood the true impact of plastic pollution, and how it spelt bad news for our planet, especially for our oceans. Therefore, before leaving Bali, I promised myself that I had to contribute to finding a solution somehow.
After returning to Copenhagen, I met up with my best friend Brody, a creative soul with a unique sense of aesthetics. The idea was clear; To gather plastic waste from the ocean and turn it into beautiful and long-lasting swimwear. The journey of Copenhagen Cartel began that day, and a year later, we launched our first collection.
That is how Copenhagen Cartel was created.