It is 100% organic cotton, labeled GOTS (Global Organic Standard), loose and soft, and it is back for the last time on June 8 on the occasion of World Oceans Day ... Who is that? Our Ocean sweatshirt of course.

So far, thanks to the sale of this sweatshirt and therefore thanks to you, we have already been able to donate to Surfrider Foundation Europe :

€92,580 , what does that really represent? ⁠
💙 ⁠ 36,505 participants made aware of ocean protection⁠
💙 998 collections organized in Europe⁠
💙 48,770 plastic bottles collected⁠
💙 860 m3 of waste collected⁠

In order to go further in its commitment, the Balzac Paris team went to Marseille in early June for World Ocean Day to participate in a waste collection , during which we collected:

30.7 kg of waste =
💙 ⁠ 600 collection meters
💙 13 bags of 25L⁠
💙 800 cigarette butts

Throwback to this beautiful solidarity day:

Thanks to our partner, part of whose team joined us on site, we traveled by train and emitted 107 times less CO2 .

** To know more **

Meeting with Raphaëlle from Surfrider Foundation Europe:

- Hello Raphaëlle, who are you and what is your role at Surfrider Foundation Europe?

I joined Surfrider Foundation Europe more than 5 years ago, I left Paris to move to Bayonne in the southwest and give some meaning back to my life! Within the NGO I am responsible for corporate partnerships, that is to say that I set up partnerships that make sense with the private sector, in order to raise funds to finance projects.

- Can you introduce the NGO to us in a few words?

Surfrider Foundation Europe is an NGO whose goal is the protection and enhancement of the ocean , the coast, the waves, the lakes, the rivers and all the populations who enjoy them. People are at the heart of our identity: even if our actions have an impact on biodiversity itself, the association was created by surfers in order to put people back at the center of a sustainable approach. 

Surfrider Foundation Europe is the little brother of the American Surfrider, born in California in 1984! The European branch was created in 1990 by Tom Curren, three-time surfing champion. From a small association of volunteer surfers, we are today a real big environmental NGO ! Beyond simply representing surfers and water sports enthusiasts, we represent all ocean lovers in the broad sense. 

- What are the main actions of Surfrider Foundation Europe to preserve the oceans?

At Surfrider we have 3 action levers, which can be found in all our projects:

1- Education and awareness: prevention is better than cure! We act with the general public, and also with young people, who are a very important target for us.

2- Participatory science and expertise: we are accompanied by experts on the different action levers of Surfrider Europe .

3 - Advocacy and lobbying: aimed at institutions, local, national or European, but also with the private sector: we try to make companies move towards eco-design or in any case more eco-friendly actions.

These actions revolve around 3 thematic axes:

1 - The best known and the oldest is the fight against aquatic waste : we are talking here about the fight against single-use plastic mainly.

2 - The quality of water and the health of users.

3- Coastal development and climate change.

- Can you tell us about Surfrider Foundation Europe's collaboration with Balzac Paris: how did it come about, why did you like the project?

We already had a little history with Balzac Paris: in 2019, we set up a similar operation with an eco-designed t-shirt. We had also collected more than 5000€! We are happy to renew this partnership, at Surfrider Europe, we also like stories that last ! We are very vigilant about our corporate partnerships: if we agree to discuss with all those who wish, we do not associate with everyone! We have criteria to respect, in particular the question of the eco-design of products.

Here the Ocean sweatshirt is in GOTS-certified organic cotton, made in Europe, and what's more, it's hot! This makes us even more proud of this collaboration. And for the record, we have never received so many messages about a collaboration as following the distribution of the Ocean sweatshirt !

- What are the figures which are the most alarming according to you concerning the pollution of the oceans? Why should we all be concerned?

In my opinion, the first alarming figure is this: 8 million tonnes of waste per year end up in the ocean (source: UN). This figure does not tend to decrease because unfortunately the production of plastic is not decreasing! 

The second number that I find a little scary is the number of cigarette butts that we collect through our Ocean Initiative program. It is a flagship program of Surfrider which organizes waste collections on the coasts, but also in cities, because "Throwing on the ground is throwing into the sea" ! When you throw your cigarette butt on the ground in Paris, it falls into the Seine, and the Seine ends up in the sea. So it's important to clean up cities far from the coast too! Each year, Surfrider Europe draws up an environmental report which allows us to list the type of waste collected. In 2020, we collected no less than 4.30 million cigarette butts in Europe . The cigarette butt has been the number 1 waste for years: it's dramatic when you know that 1 cigarette butt pollutes up to 500L of water because of its toxic compounds!

I will nevertheless also give a figure that gives a little more hope: at the beginning of 2019, a European directive against certain single-use plastic objects was adopted at European level, and it has just entered into force in all countries. of the European Union on January 1, 2021! Since that date, it is forbidden to sell plastic straws , disposable plastic tableware, expanded polystyrene boxes, plastic stirrers, etc. This directive is directly based on the environmental assessments Ocean Initiatives of Surfrider Europe and many other NGOs. This is a historic victory for the association since its creation! The fight continues however, because for example at present, plastic bottles are not concerned by this directive.

- How can we reduce, simply and daily, our impact on ocean pollution?

For people sensitive to the protection of the environment but who are not sure where to start, there is the Ocean's Zero application! It allows you to move to a zero waste approach in stages . Starting with small challenges, like replacing your plastic bottle with a water bottle, up to real levels of zero waste initiative, like making your own shampoo or your own solid toothpaste!

We can't all radically change our consumption patterns, we have to go step by step! It's better to go gradually than not to act, and everyone can do it on their own scale.

- How to become a volunteer for Surfrider Foundation Europe?

If you want to join the movement, we have a platform dedicated to volunteering: . At Surfrider Europe , there are different types of volunteering: first, the possibility of putting your skills at the service of Surfrider Europe on specific missions (translation for example).

To get involved in a sustainable way, you can join a branch! We have more than 40 branches in Europe, including 30 in France! There's bound to be one near you. Joining a branch allows you to hold a stand at events, to raise awareness among the general public , by going to schools for example, the Paris branch does this a lot.

To get even more involved, there is also of course activism: participating in demonstrations, running petitions, etc.

Beyond that, there are plenty of ways to get involved with Surfrider Europe: share our content on social networks , and of course make a donation ! We can never say it enough, but every donation counts, no matter the amount.