A brief overview of the story so far. Beach Clean Sarongs, my plastic ocean trash designs digitally printed on 100% unbleached cotton to spread a message. See more behind the scenes in stories on LETSGOTOTHEBEACH.org. It’s 3 years ago now since we started, just 2 of us artist/designers with big ideas, Designer Jan Battem in Amsterdam and me in Scotland. With the generous support of creative director Henk Seelt and my brother, photographer Shannon Tofts . It’s been a passionate journey of driven belief against all odds to get this far. Collecting and sorting enough plastic ocean trash to make with. And this was all before BBC’s Blue Planet, when overnight everyone got it! I didn’t have to think how to write the message anymore.
Funny to see: scruffy plastic bottles and trash washed up locally in west coast Scotland… a trip to Australia and hot beach living… where my Dad wrote me a more positive name ‘let’s go to the beach’… brainstorming crazy creatives… to beach clean designs on textiles, cards and in books… to sell… as visual impact to show, to inspire…to raise awareness and funds for marine conservation .orgs. Daring to do something…
TIE IT! WAVE IT! WEAR IT! to say no to a plastic sea
It was hard choosing x3 designs out of our 10. SWIM, OCEAN and SPLASH! New packaging after the Crowdfunded packaging box, 1 year later, including x2 postcards and a flyer: lighter, smaller, easier to identify in shops and for gifts. Cheaper to post, with paper no plastic. To buy online!
The exciting part is seeing you post up your sarongs from all over the world!
The hardest part was getting 6 marine conservation orgs on board as our donation recipients… but we did.
Meanwhile we were sampling like mad, looking for best colours and quality, all as non textile designers! A trip to Frankfurt textile fair to meet the manufacturers, designing, writing, printing cards, researching packaging, trying out sizes of logos, deciding upon a printed wash-care label to minimise production and fuss…
We successfully (Kickstarter) Crowdfunded our first production run. It was nerve wracking, it was just me doing it. Another learning curve. I was too exhausted to follow it up with good social media. That’s the problem, as a small creative, you pour all your energy in to an idea and run out of steam to sell it! I folded all the boxes for the packaging box for our Kickstarter Crowdfund supporters, wrapped your sarongs in tissue, wrote, packaged and stickered them all… Phew.
We needed sample photographs for the website before we got our production started… using myself and my west coast Highlander partner as shy models in chilly Scotland to look like Bali…and game surfers in Holland to look like California.
Still developing the ideas… looking for sponsors to make it accessible for all. Creative initiative!