Luxury fashion and a commitment to environmental sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive pursuits. In a launch series of articles on this blog, Ally Bee explores leading names in fashion who are also shaping environmental advocacy – and we start with global style icon, agnes b.
agnes b. is a name renowned throughout the fashion world for understated chic fashion, including knitwear, evoking a style the French are famous for. Agnès Troublé (aka agnes b.) is also famous for her work with film, as a humanitarian, philanthropist and her role in helping to raise awareness of climate change.
Her relationship with fashion and film, culture, art and the environment go hand in hand from the movie posters adorning the walls of her shops to her support for young film directors such as Harmony Korine with whom she owns a film company and is best known for the film ‘Kids’. She was responsible for Harvey Keitel’s suit in Reservoir Dogs and John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s outfits in Pulp Fiction and her clothes have appeared in numerous other films including Mulholland Drive. Agnes has also just finished directing her first movie at age 70 – “my name is hmmm” – which has been selected for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
As well as fashion, art and cinema, Agnes has used her name to help many humanitarian causes around the world.
In addition to her commitment to humanitarian philanthropy, Agnes sees it as her duty to support projects that guide the world towards a more sustainable future. Marrying this with her love for the sea, for the past nine years she has been supporting her environmental research ship, Tara. The director of the schooner is her son, Etienne Bourgois, and Tara’s mission is to learn more about the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems and promote public awareness of climate change.
Director, Etienne Bourgois says,
“We know more about the moon than the oceans. Despite their enormous capacity to absorb CO2, we know that the chemical parameters of the ocean are in the process of changing: the impact of local and global pollution, over-fishing, and the rise in surface water temperatures are all real.”
Tara has already completed eight successful expeditions – including journeys to Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia and Southern Georgia, the Arctic and in 2012 Tara docked in London. For her latest expedition, Tara is comparing plankton and physico-chemistry of the Arctic with data collected in other oceans during the Tara Oceans expeditions. Working in partnership with scientists and research institutes from around the world, this work is vital in contributing scientific knowledge about marine bio-diversity which is currently fragmented. The samples collected by the Tara expedition could take up to ten years to study and collate and will provide valuable insights into pollution, global warming and biodiversity in our oceans.
10 Years of Environmental Research
This year Tara celebrates ten years of environmental research and raising public awareness of the threat to our oceans. Currently circumnavigating the Arctic Ocean through the North East and North West passages, Tara will be coming home to France on December 7th in Lorient, Tara’s home port where a number of events are planned to celebrate the expeditions ten year anniversary.
Tara Expedition at its home port of Saint Piere in France
The boat has spent the year travelling through the Arctic Ocean and next year will continue her voyage to Pacific coast coral reefs with a team of scientists, sailors and filmmaker Luc Jacquet.
In many ways we are all on the ship together, for better or for worse. While many fashion giants make very big noises when making gestures towards environmental initiatives, under the auspices of agnes b. Tara has set sail on a journey that might just make a real difference. Sometimes it is the quiet achievements that resonate the longest.
Ally Bee looks forward to following the progress of Tara’s voyages of discovery.
Credit: Photography by Alex Dolan and Ho Rui An
For more information: oceans.taraexpeditions.org