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Athens, 4 August 2016: MEDASSET’s (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles) exhibition of clothing made with yarn reclaimed from the sea has reached the second stage of its journey, after a month’s stay at Golden Hall shopping centre in Marousi. CRETAquarium, one of Europe’s largest and most contemporary aquaria, near Heraklion, Crete, has opened its doors to the “Healthy Seas Fashion Project” and presents the exhibition until the end of September.
The exhibition was created with the support of the Representation of the EC in Greece, on the occasion of MEDASSET’s first anniversary as coordinator in Greece of the European initiative: “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”.
The “Healthy Seas” initiative aims to remove fishing nets that have been caught up on wrecks or snagged by rocky outcrops on the ocean floor.  The deadly “ghost nets” go on trapping all kinds of marine creatures, such as turtles, dolphins, seals, etc., but once they are removed they can be processed, along with other waste products, and recycled to make ECONYL® – a premium quality yarn that is ideal for use in the manufacture of clothing and other products, such as carpet. The initiative promotes a new model of sustainable development that is based on the concept of a circular economy – maximising the potential of existing resources while reducing their waste.  It is being run in 5 European states (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and the United Kingdom).
Once visitors to the aquarium have admired the 2,000 individual marine creatures from 200 different Mediterranean species, they will have an opportunity to enjoy a unique exhibition that demonstrates what can happen when environmental awareness, fashion, and the principles of the circular economy meet. Behind-the-scenes videos illustrate how the Fashion Project came into being, while breath-taking underwater footage, which show just how damaging “ghost nets” can be to marine fauna, complete the experience.   
The garments displayed in the exhibition have all been created by students and recent graduates of the fashion department of AKTO College of Art and Design. They represent the work of finalists in MEDASSET’s competition, “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear” Fashion Project, which took place in May 2016 in collaboration with the DoitEco Project. Each of the 10 exhibitors, chosen from an initial entry of 23, has used fabric woven in Italy from ECONYL® yarn together with other environmentally-friendly materials (such as organic cotton, plant-based dyes, re-purposed cloth, linen and canvas) to create a pair of garments based on a common concept; one a ‘ready to wear’ piece and the other a more ‘conceptual’ one.
“Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear” Fashion Project is run under the auspices of the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture & Sports, UNEP/MAP – the United Nations Environment Programme’s Mediterranean Action Plan under the Barcelona Convention, SEV Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the Greek Council for UNESCO.  It is supported by the Representation of the EC in Greece, ASAP Athens, Kosmocar, ΑΝΕΚ Lines και Blue Star Ferries.
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ms Maria Vlazaki, declared: “The highly original concept that underpins this exhibition, and the emphasis it places on taking environmentally sound action and the value of using recycled materials in the manufacture of useful new products, point the way toward strategies for raising awareness in society of how interconnected culture and the environment truly are.”  
The exhibition stage was designed and built by Greek Architect Evi Polychroniadou.
For more information please contact:
Jenny Ioannou, Head of Communications, MEDASSET
+30 210 3613572
medasset[@]medasset.org
www.medasset.org, fromwastetowear.medasset.org/en

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/gp/80147709@N07/726A4g
 
Notes to Editors:
Founded in 1988, MEDASSET is an international environmental NGO registered as a charity and limited liability company in the UK and a Permanent Observer-Member to the Bern Convention, Council of Europe. MEDASSET is working closely with MEDASSET Greece – a not-for-profit organisation established in 1993 in Greece, which is a partner to the UN’s Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). Both organisations are active in the study and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats throughout the Mediterranean. Common goals are achieved through scientific research, environmental education, lobbying relevant decision makers, and raising public awareness.
 
About Healthy Seas – a Journey from Waste to Wear
Healthy Seas is an initiative that recovers abandoned fishing nets that pollute our seas and coasts and thanks to the ECONYL® Regeneration System the contained nylon is regenerated into high-quality yarn which is then turned into brand new sustainable textiles.
www.healthyseas.org
www.facebook.com/healthyseas
www.twitter.com/healthyseas_org
 
About ECONYL® brand
Made from 100 percent regenerated nylon waste materials, Aquafil’s ECONYL fiber helps divert global waste streams from landfills and oceans and is used to produce a wide range of textile products such as sportswear, swimwear, and carpets. Aquafil started the ECONYL Regeneration System as a sustainability initiative in 2007 and within four years it became an important milestone and commercial driver within the company, representing a significant step towards the company’s involvement in the circular economy. The ECONYL Regeneration System is the world’s most efficient industrial system for the production of Nylon 6 and is unique in that it boasts no loss of quality after reclamation and transformation of nylon waste. For more information, visit www.econyl.com or @ECONYL



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