From unsustainable fishing practices and climate change to marine pollution and acidification, our oceans and ecosystems are under more serious threat than ever before. We need a healthy ocean to survive and thrive. It generates the majority of the oxygen we breathe, helps feed us, supports millions of jobs worldwide, cleans the water we drink, enables transportation and helps regulate our climate. And given the ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface, it seems inconceivable that just 7% is currently being protected. Thankfully, that’s about to change!
This year, the mission behind World Ocean Day is to raise awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters, and ocean by 2030. Just like national parks protect animals on land, marine protected areas help safeguard critical and highly protected areas of the ocean and ensure our waters are teeming with life for generations to come. This important day unites conservation leaders and environmentally conscientious organisations to address the myriad of threats facing marine wildlife and ecosystems.
Wild-Caught Fish vs. Farmed Fish: What sustainability practices does Iluminos partake in?
Engaging in sustainable practices is what sets our brand apart from other beauty supplement companies on the market. We believe you deserve to know what you’re ingesting, and that’s why transparency is at the heart of our brand. We have nothing to hide, we don’t cut corners and we don’t compromise on quality. Instead, from start to finish, we share our sourcing methods and can guarantee that all of our ingredients are ethically and responsibly obtained for the least amount of environmental impact.
Unless your collagen supplier explicitly tells you that their source of collagen is wild-caught or sustainable, their raw material source is likely from farmed fish. Sadly, these damaging practices impact the raw materials’ quality and cause untold environmental impacts to the surrounding waterways and ecosystem.
Fish farms place thousands of fish within small circular nets in riverways and the ocean. The fish are crowded together in an artificial environment. Waste products from faeces, uneaten food and dead fish build up and leach into the surrounding water contaminating the ecosystem and local environment. High disease rates from parasites and bacteria are typical due to the overcrowding; these force the farmers to utilise chemicals and antibiotics to control bacterial overgrowth. Similar to the waste, these spill into the surrounding ecosystems. Finally, these farmed fish need food to grow, which often comes from wild-caught fish sources. The amount of feed required to produce one kg of fish is often 10x the amount of the farmed fish produced.
These harmful practices do not sit well with us. That’s why our Nordic Marine Collagen only comes from wild-caught honestly sustainable deep-sea Cod (Gadus morhua). The Cod is sourced from the crystal-clear pure waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with the fishing vessels home base in three sites along the Norwegian coast. The fishing vessels range from the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and back to Norway to capture the wild-caught Cod. Recently, we were praised and rewarded for our sustainability efforts, with the Marine Stewardship Council giving our collagen supplement the rare blue tick of approval!
From tracking the vessels that caught the fish to ensuring sustainable fishing practices are adhered to no matter what, it’s a long process that is closely evaluated before beauty supplement brands (like us!) are granted the MSC ecolabel. Iluminos willingingly abides by the organisation’s strict guidelines, because it’s a leap in the right direction and we’re determined to do what is most sustainable for our oceans and marine life.
What is the MSC?
Founded in 1996, the global non-for-profit’s sole purpose is to eradicate overfishing while restoring and ensuring sustainable fish stocks for future generations. The fishery certification program contributes to maintaining the health of the world’s oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practices, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.
The MSC recognises that communities rely on fishing for their livelihood, hence why they operate on the core principle that our waters are not overfished. The organisation manages fishing activity extremely carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain intact. These improvements not only benefit marine mammals, marine reptiles and their habitats, but guarantee other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy.
In following MSC certifications we ultimately aim to:
- Provide sustainable fish stocks. Ensuring the fish population can remain productive and healthy
- Minimise the environmental impact by managing fishing activity. Protecting species and habitats as well as keeping ecosystems healthy;
- Abide by MSC fishery laws
- Adapt to changing environmental circumstances.
Easy switches you can make to increase the sustainability of your beauty routine
As a conscious consumer, there are simple steps you can take to increase the sustainability of our beauty routine. It’s never been easier to find product alternatives if you’re hoping to purchase ethically sourced products. Here are a few simple switches you can make to reduce your carbon footprint and preserve our ecosystems and marine life.
Switch to a reef-friendly sunscreen: Did you know that 14, 000 tonnes of sunscreen washes into our oceans each year and is toxic to marine life? Avoid contributing to this crisis by shifting to products that are safe to wear in the water.
Avoid certain ingredients: Steer clear of nasty chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both are commonly used in sunscreen and are proven to be extremely toxic to ecosystems and marine life. Oxybenzone even impairs the growth of algae, bleaches and damages coral and decreases fish fertility and reproduction.
Ditch makeup wipes: Makeup wipes are one of the most common pieces of rubbish washing up on our shores. The average wipe takes 100 years to decompose, and the majority are not recyclable or compostable. While it’s tempting to discard them down the toilet without a second thought, they end up in landfill and often cause sewer blockages. Instead, we recommend purchasing an environmentally friendly washcloth or organic cotton fibre rounds that are washable and reusable.
By making a few minor adjustments to your routine and choosing products from eco-friendly brands with sustainable sourcing practices (ahem, us), you’re positively contributing to the conservation of our oceans and marine life.
The above information is general in nature and is intended for educational use only. Here at Iluminos we understand that every individual is not the same and that we are all created differently. If you are concerned about your skin health, seeking help from a qualified health professional is always recommended.