How can a t-shirt help WDC tackle ocean plastic pollution?


Teemill notwhalefood t-shirt
Teemill t-shirt

WDC strongly believe that single use plastic is an issue that all businesses, consumers and organisations across society must work together to solve. The creators of our exclusive #NotWhaleFood t-shirts, Rapanui Clothing, explain how they are helping – one t-shirt at a time. Make a pledge to reduce your own plastic use and you could get a free Teemill t-shirt. Find out more below.

The consequences of our current plastics-focused economy are potentially severe, and the failings in our current approach pose a real danger not just to the whales and dolphins WDC is fighting to protect, but to all marine life. Awareness of the issue is far behind the science.

At Rapanui we built our business with a mission to make T-shirts that are more sustainable. And with Teemill.com we enabled others to share in our award-winning, eco-friendly supply chain technology. We’ve started by helping charities and good causes benefit by making it easy to build fundraising shops to raise awareness and allow people to support the project. By 2050 there may be more plastic in our oceans than fish, so it’s important that fundraising efforts do not add to the problem. And organic cotton t-shirts, plus a bit of clever technology, shows it can be done.

When clothes made from man-made materials such as polycotton are machine washed the fibres can break away and end up in the water, eventually entering watercourses, and flowing into our oceans. This isn’t just an issue for wildlife - studies show that many of the most popular fish found on UK dinner tables have traces of plastic from synthetic products in their gut. If this wasn’t worrying enough, it has been found that the build-up of plastic in their bodies can seriously disrupt hormones in marine life, and even shorten their lifespan.*

At Rapanui Clothing our product design values are built on sustainability. Our products are made using GOTS certified organic cotton in wind-powered factories. Because organic cotton is plant based, there’s no micro plastic shedding in the fibres – good news for our oceans. And at our factory in the UK we’ve built some pretty fancy printing technology that allows us to manufacture products in real time, printing water based ink directly into the fabric - which along with our commitment to using as little packaging as possible and making it plant-based, massively reduces waste. At the end of your t-shirt’s lifetime you can even scan the label with your phone and send it back to us for recycling and we’ll pay you store credit for it too.

We are delighted that forward-thinking charities like WDC, who look out for special and vulnerable dolphin and whale species, have been able to use this technology to support their amazing work. We hope that WDC supporters will enjoy wearing and talking about the new designs, taking the important message - that single use plastics are #NotWhaleFood - to more and more people. T-shirts will not save our seas, people’s choices will - and we hope this collaboration can bring more people together to work on this important issue, all the while wearing a product that represents shared values. 

Get your exclusive #NotWhaleFood t-shirt from Teemill

WDC are looking for Plastic 'Heroes' to make a pledge to reduce their plastic use in 2018. Earlier this year we set up notwhalefood.com in partnership with BRITA, a site dedicated to the issues of marine plastic with top tips for how you can help, simply by making small lifestyle changes!

Switching to a reusable bottle? Setting up a recycling scheme in your office? Tell us what your plastic busting 2018 New Year's resolutions are and we'll send an exclusive #NotWhaleFood t-shirt from Teemill to our favourite 10 pledgers! Simply copy and paste the following onto either Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and make your pledge - encourage others to take up the pledge as well! For ideas, don't forget to visit notwhalefood.com/inspiration.

In 2018, I pledge to reduce my single-use plastic by [insert action]! You should do the same - for ideas, visit notwhalefood.com #NotWhaleFood #teemill

We'll pick our favourite 10 entries on Friday 8th December and will notify winners by 12th December.

*According to a 2017 University of Ghent study ‘Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption

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