Selfridges has unveiled plans for Project Ocean, an inspiring initiative that challenges the public to imagine a world with “no more fish in the sea”. Project Ocean is spearheaded by Selfridges Creative Director Alannah Weston, working in partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Selfridges is collaborating with campaigners to use its trademark high-energy creative marketing approach to increase awareness, inspire changed consumer habits and raise funds. Running from now until the 12th June, the project is both a celebration of the oceans and a forum for conservationists to issue an urgent public wake-up call to address issues of sustainability, overfishing and marine protection.
Driven by the unthinkable prospect of the world’s major fisheries collapsing by 2050, the London store has given itself over to leading international marine protection campaigners and 22 environmental NGOs, as well high profile activists from the worlds of art, fashion, culinary arts, and entertainment.
Project Ocean will take over the store on a scale never before seen at Selfridges. From its iconic windows, façade and atrium, to The Wonder Room, foodhall and restaurants, the London store will transform itself in homage to the ocean. For five weeks, Selfridges’ Ultralounge will be the epicentre for Project Ocean activity, including world-class talks on the most pressing issues related to our oceans. There will be film screenings, NGO workshops, and Guerrilla Science for families. On Friday evenings, the Ultralounge will emerge as the Dive Bar, hosting musical acts and performances as a means to raising awareness and showcasing up and coming talent.
Project Ocean will culminate with the GLOBE World Ocean’s Day summit on 8 June, the United Nations-recognised global day of observance in celebration of our oceans and the vital impact it has on our lives. Held for the first time in a non-traditional, public location, GLOBE 2011 will welcome heads of state, ambassadors, dignitaries and MPs alongside NGOs and activist organisations to examine, workshop and revise The Common Fisheries Policy amongst others.
The project is designed to be visionary and solutions oriented but it unreservedly highlights the often-disturbing realities that threaten global marine life. To make the key themes more engaging to its 30,000 daily customers, Selfridges is injecting a high dose of style, fun and entertainment into the mix. From frogmen marching its hallowed aisles, to massive commissioned balloon installations by New York artist Jason Hackenwerth, to ‘No More Fish In The Sea?’ T-shirts by famed activist fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, there will be non-stop buzz to help convey the most pressing messages over the duration of Project Ocean.
Committed to its journey into implementing environmentally responsible practices, Selfridges has eliminated all endangered fish stocks across all their restaurants and food halls. To help consumers change their habits, a Project Ocean “Fish Guide” has been developed in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to identify which fish to eat and which to avoid, suggesting alternatives to those under threat. The guide is free and available in booklet format or via a more detailed phone app version, including recipes from participating chefs and a sustainability-minded restaurant guide compiled by Fish 2 Fork. Selfridges will continue to work long-term on implementing responsible sourcing policies in their stores as fish species’ sustainable status is updated and better understood.
As part of its commitment, Selfridges has sponsored the creation of a marine reserve in the Philippines on a unique double barrier reef, creating a safe haven for endangered fish. The public can help ZSL to help set up and support marine reserves around the world by donating to Project Ocean and purchasing bespoke Project Ocean ribbons, bracelets and access. A marine reserve manifesto developed by participating NGOs will encourage society to make their policy makers act to protect marine reserves on a long-term level.