The inspiration behind our new Coral Reef Collection
Model: Olamide Atoyebi (@mydeh_gold)
Stylist: Keshia Ozier (@knashaystyle)
Why Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs have been a source of spiritual and cultural value for thousands of years. From the Aboriginal dreamtime stories to the Hawaiian creation chant, called the Kumulipo, different cultures have viewed the coral reefs as their direct connection to nature. It is not hard to see why Coral reefs are so inspiring. Most are in the shallow, clear, sunny waters where you can easily snorkel or dive and see the plethora of colors and creatures that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Coral Reefs contain nearly 25% of all marine species, almost two million living creatures, yet occupy less than 0.1% of our oceans. The amount of biodiversity of species found within such a small section of our ocean is beyond awe inspiring.
Unfortunately, these awe inspiring underwater ecosystems are under threat. Rising ocean temperatures, land-based pollutants and over-fishing are the top threats causing their endangerment. Nearly 50% of our coral reefs have died in the last 30 years. In 2016 the longest and most destructive bleaching event happened, and the frequency of these events has increased to a level where the coral is struggling to have time to recover and heal. It can take a decade for the fastest healing coral and several decades for some other ones to recover from these events that are now occurring three-fold in a matter of a five-year span. Without help many of these reefs are at risk of complete extinction.
A bleached anemone in Okinawa, Japan; photo by The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview SurveyUsed by permission of CORAL and located at Coral.org
How Can We Help?
This is where the non-profit organization CORAL (Coral Reef Alliance) comes into action. CORAL focuses their efforts on the science behind how coral reefs work and is striving to find solutions for that will help the coral to adapt to these more often occurring bleaching events. You can easily see why CORAL is the inspiration behind my Coral Reef Collection and we are proudly donating 2% of the sale price of each product sold during 2020 to help support their great initiatives. A few of their great signature initiatives that have inspired us are: Healthy Fisheries for Reefs, Clean Water for Reefs, Intact Reef Ecosystems and Science of Adaption.
CORAL (Coral Reef Alliance) is the NGO that inspired the Coral Reef Collection created by Vois, pre-sales opening on April 15th.
What does CORAL Do?
The initiative for healthy fisheries for reefs is focused on uniting communities to practice sustainable fishing. Biological and socioeconomic studies are used to find the best solution for the community. The fishing industry provides millions of jobs and can also be the major source of food for a community, especially on an island. It is important to help educate those communities so they can understand the damage that unsustainable fishing can have on their futures and the futures of the coral reefs. CORAL does that and works with the local governments and the communities in those areas to create Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs). You can see more about their work in Fiji and in Honduras on their website.
Clean Water for Reefs is the initiative to help reduce land-based pollutants. The biggest culprits are often fertilizers and pesticides washed in from farms, chemicals from mining, and sewage from communities with improper waste treatment facilities. These pollutants often cause major damage to the reefs and pose risk to the health of the humans who rely on them for fishing and for tourism. CORAL works with the local communities to help build and update the wastewater treatment infrastructure and they train people in the communities how to monitor the water quality so they can find problems and implement solutions faster.
Their initiative towards the creation of Intact Reef Ecosystems is an ongoing preservation effort against habitat destruction. Coral is very fragile and only grows less than one inch per year. Yet a single anchor can destroy and damage coral that is hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old. CORAL has worked hard to install many mooring buoys to eliminate the need for boat anchors throughout the reefs. This initiative also helps educate people against coral mining, blast fishing, bottom trawling and sunscreen damage.
The last initiative I am going to brag about, and my personal favorite, is called Science of Adaption. CORAL has pioneered a study on how evolution can help coral reefs survive climate change. They work hand in hand with research partners across the world, from many recognized institutions, to create MAP (Modeling Adaptation Potential) Project. Then they use the findings from the MAP project to build adaptive reefscapes that promote adaptation and can help coral evolve to survive climate change. This could make an incredible progress in saving the coral reefs from extinction.
Photo by: Michael Webster Used by permission of CORAL and located at Coral.org
Through all these initiatives CORAL is working hard to save the world’s coral reefs and prevent their extinction. In addition to all their inspiring initiatives I’ve mentioned above CORAL also has 6 years of a 4-star rating on charity navigator and proudly uses 80% of their expenses directly on program work. All of this has made them a great choice as an NGO partner for my business and a powerful inspiration for all of us to look up to. Thanks to CORAL I will be bringing you the clothes you love inspired by the causes you love in the new Coral Reef Collection.
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While TBH Collections Inc. (Vois) is proud to support the work of the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), it is not directly affiliated with the nonprofit or any of their programs, projects or website.