Aqua famously once sang "life in plastic, it's fantastic". However, it's not so cool when it's stacked in landfills or swimming in the oceans with fish. I recently found out it's estimated that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050 - can you imagine snorkelling and instead of seeing Nemo swimming around you see a mountain of plastic bags or bottles?
We all add to the plastic mountain daily, mostly without noticing. You could be using a shampoo bottle, or wrapping your sandwiches in cling film, all without realising that all of these things are single-use plastic products that you often throw away after using.
It's not always easy to cut down on consumption of single-use plastics, but I've discovered some simple ways to reduce my usage. One of my areas of weakness was plastic water bottles, I'd buy one if I was on the way to the gym or if I was thirsty whilst out shopping. We're a nation of bottled water lovers, using 7.7billion a year in the UK alone!
You're probably thinking that recycling is the solution, but the damage starts with the production of plastic. Even the process to recycle the bottles causes pollution and harms the planet. Some of us also forget to recycle, which last year led to 5.5billion plastic water bottles being wasted.
We all have the planet's best interest at heart. No one wants to see turtles hurt by straws or beaches littered with plastic bottles, but we can all do our bit to be a little more eco-friendly. It doesn't have to be a huge change either, we all take a reusable bag to the shops now that it cost 5p to buy one. It's just as simple to make other sustainable swaps.
That's why I'm teaming up with BRITA to encourage everyone to make a simple #SwapForGood and my first step has been to swap my single-use plastic water bottle habit for a reusable bottle. I've been using a bottle that filters water and makes it taste much nicer. One of the reasons I used plastic water bottles was because I liked the taste so this is a great alternative. Sometimes it's hard to remember to take it in my bag when I'm out and about, but I've gotten into a habit which means I reduce my impact on the planet that little bit more. Not everyone is perfect!
At House of Holland, we're also continually aware of the growing links between fashion and sustainability and we want to produce clothes with a conscience. More than half of us want to buy products that we know to be environmentally friendly or committed to a good cause, which is a step in the right direction and I'm actively exploring ways that we can improve our manufacturing processes.
As part of the BRITA #SwapForGood campaign, we've used the power of fashion to shout about this issue and raise awareness of the increasing plastic pollution problem and encourage people to make sustainable swaps in their lives. I have created two slogan t-shirts, which are limited edition so grab one from the House of Holland website sharpish!
'Don't be A Waster' shows that you're not that person who throws things away without a second though; you think about the effect of putting your plastic container in the bin or buying a bottle of shower gel over a bar of soap and gets a lol to boot. Win win.
'Single-use Plastic is Never Fantastic' shows that you care about our little planet, whether it's through taking a reusable bag to the supermarket or reducing your use of plastic water bottles.
It's not just the slogans that show a message, the t-shirts were created in a sustainable way, using about seven plastic water bottles and a bundle of salvaged cotton to make each one. Without these t-shirts the bottles would have otherwise ended up in seas and landfill, which as I've said isn't a pretty sight!
My mate Lily Cole is an avid eco-campaigner, supporting Water Aid and even wearing a dress made of recycled plastic water bottles to the Oscars last year. She's supporting the #SwapForGood message with me to encourage us to take action and make a pledge to stop using single-use plastic water bottles.
Buying one of the #SwapForGood t-shirts will not only make a sustainable fashion statement, but will also help clear the oceans of plastic as all the profits are being donated to the Marine Conservation Society.
We hope that these t-shirts encourage you to make small swaps in your life, not only to help save the planet but to make you feel great. Tag me in your t-shirts on Instagram using #SwapForGood and @houseofholland. To purchase a limited edition BRITA x House of Holland #SwapForGood t-shirt and fill&go bottle visit HouseofHolland.co.uk.