PROJECT SEA ICE
PROJCT SEA ICE merges impactful climate science and sustainable practices in fashion education through new modes of documentary & immersive storytelling experiences and Timeless, Transeasonal, Luxury garments with a cathartic & educational ethos made from sustainable & ethical design and manufacturing practices.
Our mission is to unearth innovative approaches to climate action and education that build bridges between communities, industries, and disciplines. Our approaches alchemize from cross-pollination between Art, Science, Fashion and Technology; raise awareness about brand consciousness; and reorient consumer habits towards sustainable practices.
Luxury lifestyle A-gender and bespoke tailoring brand Maison IAGU and Filmmaker/Artist Amy Lauren created Project Sea Ice to inspire collective action and shift the conversation about Climate Change away from environmental doomism towards the beauty of all there is left still to save.
HOW WE DO IT
The Sea Ice Collection approaches the problem of climate change in a new way by recontextualizing the Arctic Ocean through the lens of fashion. The Sea Ice Collection materializes abstract climate science concepts and provide tactile, sensory, elemental introductions to the Arctic Ocean. Tactile recollections, sensory impressions, textural memories, the habitual ritual of getting dressed every morning wrapped in beautiful reminders that the Arctic Ocean exists; feeling climate science instead of reading about it; weaving it into your personal style and identity in the way only fashion can offer. Style is sustainable; sustainability is style. Style never goes out of fashion.
IF NOT US, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Fundamentally, the climate crisis is pressure on peace and prosperity and complicates efforts to build social and environmental justice in areas already affected by and vulnerable to conflict. Yet, Peace is the cornerstone to effectively tackle the climate crisis. We need peace in order to do science. We need science in order to solve the climate crisis.
We are telling this story through fashion; fashion that models non-disposable, ethical & sustainable practices with a cathartic, educational & A-gender ethos. The Sea Ice garments, which merge climate science and slow fashion education, are a call to dress your emotions. Dressing our emotions requires us to connect deeply with ourselves, which is the first step towards building peace and lays the groundwork for building bridges between different communities and cultures.
WE NEED PEACE IN ORDER TO DO SCIENCE
Both war and environmental disaster displace millions of people each year. Displaced populations strain environmental and economic resources. Strained environmental and economic resources cause geopolitical unrest and create conflicts that pave the way towards war. According to the IPCC report, extreme weather events are increasingly driving the displacement of people across the global south, and droughts, floods and fire will come for the north, too – it is only a matter of time. Globally, 80% of people displaced by the climate crisis are women, but climate justice is not just a feminist issue, it is an existential one.
The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine upended even the polar research community. Decades-long international collaborations monitoring the changing Arctic climate system ended. As a result, we no longer have data about the drastic, climate-wide process changes happening in Eurasian Basin, (the Russian Economic Zone), which is changing faster than any other part of the Arctic. By 2035, if not sooner, climate models predict an open ocean during the Arctic summer season. An Arctic summer with no sea ice is vulnerable to economic shipping and resource extraction, actions that would ensure irreparable collapse of the Arctic ecosystem and permanently alter Earth’s climate system.
WE NEED INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATIONS IN ORDER TO TACKLE THE CLIMATE CRISIS
The Arctic Ocean is the kitchen of weather. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The land-ocean-atmosphere-ice system regulates climate. There is an increase in freshwater from river discharge, an increase in glacial melt, sea ice formation and sea ice melt, and there’s potentially an increase in water coming from the Pacific sector into the Arctic Ocean. Water entering the Arctic Ocean has different physical characteristics, like relatively warm and salty, or cold and salty, or cold and fresh. These physical characteristics define the strength of stratification—the density gradient—which impacts the amount of mixing in the water column. The amount of mixing in the water column influences distributions of heat, which impacts sea ice melt, the transfer of heat between the ocean and atmosphere (what causes hurricanes) and drives water circulation around the world, which is what creates climate.
The consequences of sea ice loss stretch globally across the world. Yet, for most people, the Arctic Ocean lives in numbers, diagrams and charts depicting temperature, time, and extinction, the negative space framing of climate change. But, it’s very difficult to feel an emotional connection to something abstract, global and already gone.
WE ARE TELLING THIS STORY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IN FASHION
Each Sea Ice garment represents a different facet of textile sustainability and is patterned with different crystalline structures of Arctic sea ice through two annual cycles of growth and melt. The Sea Ice garments materialize abstract climate science concepts and provide tactile, sensory, elemental introductions to the Arctic Ocean. The sea ice featured in the collection comes from ice cores taken on the 2019 MOSAiC expedition. Amy Lauren filmed the first 4 months of the expedition.
The environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, which largely runs on the exploitation of young women, is present in virtually every area of environmental concern. The fashion industry is one of the the biggest polluters in the world—second only to the oil industry— and responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions (more than the sum total of the maritime and aviation industry combined), 20% of the world’s wastewater and 35% of the ocean’s micro plastic pollution. The facts are relentless: the textile industry is the second largest pollutant of water globally, second only to agriculture; 8,000 liters of water—what one person drinks in 7 years—is needed to make 1 pair of jeans; 2% of garment workers—of which 80% are women—earn a living wage; and, 60% of all clothing made is landfilled or incinerated within 1 year of its production with the average person throwing away 81 lbs of clothing each year.