Fashion and fish? Selfridges' Project Ocean is a powerful partnership

Posted by Willie — 17 May 2011 at 12:17pm - Comments

Selfridges launched Project Ocean with a bang last week. The legendary department store's front is draped with a giant banner asking ‘No more fish in the sea?.’ Their famed Oxford Street windows are filled with installations on fish issues - grabbing attention and headlines.  And they’ve pulled in a host of celebrity supporters, from Katherine Hamnett to Elle McPherson. But that's just the start of this month long celebration of our seas...

Campaigner Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his Fish Fight have a window highlighting the wasteful madness of discards, but the campaigning chef also got to serve up a ‘mackerel bap’ to HRH Prince Charles no less on launch day. The official opening party was attended by the savvy fashion set including Lily Cole, Ellie Goulding, Janet Street-Porter, Cat Deeley and Elle MacPherson, with music from indie folksters Noah and the Whale. Queen of the slogan tee Katherine Hamnett has also created an exclusive collection to raise money.
That’s a lot of name-dropping, but the point is with Project Ocean fish just got fashionable. And each time a new platform highlights ocean issues to new audiences, we’ve seen both awareness among the public and industry willingness to change grow massively.

It was fitting then that the first of Selfridges month long series of talks, featured the face of sustainable fish - Fearnley-Whittingstall, plus Charles Clover - the brains behind the brilliant documentary on over fishing, The End of the Line.

For the next month there’s be a vast programme of oceans-related exhibitions, talks, music and more at Selfridges: artist Beth Derbyshire is showing her work The Seven Seas, Judith Clarke is curating sea-inspired style; NME and Koko have laid on free Friday night gigs; there are Sunday film screenings and Thursday night debates; and a whale rodeo.

There’ll also be a series of one-off events from all the groups involved, including several from Greenpeace. Here’re our highlights for this week - a busy one for us:

Monday 16 - Fish2Fork Awards ceremony 

The restaurant-ranking website have scoured Oxford Street to see how sustainable local fish eateries are. The results of their report where announced last night in an awards ceremony event (details coming soon). But, in the meantime to make sure the fish you buy is sustainable you can download the new iPhone fish guide app developed by ZSL, MCS and Selfridges. 

Tuesday 17 - Fish is a security issue: 6pm to 8pm in the Ultralounge

What is the true cost of fish? In collaboration with ZSL and ESI, Greenpeace takes part in a conversation about the social impacts of the fish we eat, and how the way we fish is a global problem - looking at the impact European fishing fleets are having in West Africa and the Pacific in particular.
Wednesday 18 – Protect the Pacific: 9.30 am to 3pm in the Ultralounge

 Greenpeace takes over the Ultralounge space in Selfridges for the day. We’ve created a game to show how fishing for tuna can catch and kill other species, plus explain how Greenpeace’s Fish Fight campaign has successfully changed the tinned tuna trade, and benefiting areas like the Pacific Commons. If you’re in London, pop by to say hello and learn more.
Thursday 19 – Marine Reserves: 9.30am to 3pm in the Ultralounge

 Greenpeace is working with ZSL, Pew, MCS and Client Earth to explain why Marine Reserves are a great idea and desperately needed. Throughout the day visitors can learn about the areas of our oceans that are already protected and those that still need to be - now.
Thursday 19 – Marine Reserves: 7pm to 9pm in the Ultralounge

 In the evening the official Selfridges talk will focus on Marine Reserves, and be chaired by Springwatch’s (and RSPB Executive Director) Kate Humble. On the panel will be Professor Callum Roberts, joined by representatives from Bermuda, and Papua New Guinea talking about how protected areas work, and why they are needed.
Friday 20 – Sharks! : from 9.30am to 3pm

 Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Ultralounge, the place is taken over by our friends from the Shark Trust Shark Trust. Shark-o-philes check it out.

Our Twitter and Facebook pages will also have the latest, so start following us for live updates.

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About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, I work with Greenpeace on all things ocean-related

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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