Parley for the Oceans creates trophies from 3D-printed ocean plastic for The Fashion Awards

Environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans has turned marine plastic waste from remote island waters into trophies for this year's edition of The Fashion Awards.

Every winner at The Fashion Awards, which is organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC) and takes place in London, received a trophy designed by Parley for the Oceans in collaboration with emerging set designer Jabez Barlett.

A machine 3D-printing the Fashion Awards 2021 trophies
Parley for the Oceans has created a trophy out of marine debris

Each of the black plastic trophies is made from the equivalent of approximately 75 plastic bottles, and Parley for the Oceans hopes the design will "encourage positive change within the fashion industry."

"The trophy stands as a symbol of change and has a direct impact as the materials are derived from the mega-polluter; marine plastic pollution," the brand told Dezeen.

A white robotic arm printing a trophy
Each trophy is made from around 75 plastic bottles

The bespoke trophies were given out at the annual fundraising award ceremony by the BFC, which took place in London's Royal Albert Hall on 29 November.

They were constructed using Parley's Ocean Plastic — a material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, beaches and coastlines by the Parley Global Cleanup Network. The same material has previously been used to create sports shoes such as Adidas' Terrex hiking boot.

After gathering the marine plastic debris, the material is shredded and reworked into a high-performance polyester yarn. It is then 3D-printed by recycled plastic printers Nagami.

The company used a printing technique that was unveiled at climate conference COP26 earlier this year called The Parley Blueprint Module. Created for use on islands and in remote regions, the robotic system allows people to print on demand anywhere in the world, effectively reducing emissions from imports and exports.

A robotic arm pipes plastic out into coils, turning waste ocean plastic into a chunky, yet sleek trophy.

A trophy being contructed from ocean plastic
Nagami used a special 3D printing technique to produce the trophies

The organisers described the trophies as an example of "the necessity of creative collaboration and eco-innovation, essential to overcome the current global crisis".

"The fashion community has the ability and responsibility to create change and drive the movement, and this award is a simple, yet effective step in the right direction," the BFC added.

"The trophy represents the BFC and Parley’s commitment to encourage positive change within the fashion industry, their efforts to help raise awareness and transparency to promote a more responsible future and encourage the dialogue on environmentally conscious design."

Three black up-cycled plastic trophies by Parley for the Oceans
The trophies were handed out at The Fashion Awards in November

The BFC has a history of commissioning well-known designers to create the yearly fashion awards trophies.

Past trophies have been produced by the architect David Adjaye, whose trophy is made from entirely triangular facets, and the Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove, who laser-cut a double helix and suspended it inside a crystal.

Nominees at The Fashion Awards 2021 included Stella McCartney – who recently unveiled a two-piece outfit made using a leather alternative grown from mycelium – for Environmental Leader of Change.

Fifteen creatives were awarded the Leaders of Change accolade. Among the winners were designer Virgil Abloh who passed away aged 41 on the same date as the awards ceremony. The night opened with a tribute for the late designer by British actor Idris Elba who recited a poem by Maya Angelou.

Photography is courtesy of Parley for the Oceans.