Ripple by Jess

In 2019, I spent 60 days cleaning beaches in Western Australia. I drove a van from Esperance to Broome. The trip was just over 12,000kms. Every day I pulled up to a beach and didn't know what to expect. Western Australia in summer is insanely beautiful but the environment is unpredictable and harsh. This tested and pushed me to my limits, working in 40-degree heat, storms, wind and flies that would drive me insane. I would repeat to myself one sentence: ​‘One piece of plastic can kill or injure a thousand animals in its lifetime.’ This helped me pick up 2,780 pieces of plastic over two months, potentially sparing the lives of over 2 million animals.

On the grand scale of things, this number would never put a dent in the actual problem but every single person I met, I would tell them about the journey and they would connect with it one way or another. I'm still in touch with some of them and each of them have changed a habit around plastic after meeting. This is why I called my jewellery line ‘Ripple’. I believe one small action can have a ripple effect and I’m stoked to be a part of the waves of change we make as a collective. I can’t save the entire world, I can only tend to the garden I can reach but I’m so happy that I get to dedicate the rest of my life to the best job in the world: cleaning beaches, saving animals and spreading awareness on the devastating effect plastic has on the environment and us.

In 2019 alone, researchers estimate that the production and incineration of plastic will contribute more than 850 million tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Incineration is particularly harmful, and is the number one driver of emissions from plastic waste management. Education and awareness is the most important part of the brand. In my opinion, it doesn't matter how many followers you have, if one person changes their habits around plastic and spreads the word to others, the ripple effect works. Climate change is addressed one conversation and one piece of plastic at a time.