Upcycled earrings by Sauvage Mediterranee – made with sea glass collected in the #calanquesdemarseille and lovingly assembled by a small team of real people in an artisanal workshop, nestled in the Provence region of France.
It’s true that I’m a recovering fast-fashion, beauty-trend coveting, shopaholic who shamefully spent far too much precious energy on absolute junktatt throughout the first part of my life. Thus, like most people in our western societies, I often funded hideously unfair working conditions for our fellow humans, along with masses of pollution to our beautiful planet and even vastly contributed to the loading of nasty toxins and chemicals in our waterways and in my own home and body, albeit unwittingly for the most part.
Thankfully, since doing the work to become aware of what I was actually consenting to and allowing by participating unconsciously in the collective consumer folly, I’m no longer trying to uphold that kind of passive abuse. Over time, I learned that carefully choosing where we circulate our money before doing so is vital in order to be able to respect ourselves, especially if we are to be, as Gandhi so aptly put it, the change we wish to see in the world.
NGL, I am pretty proud whenever I manage to play the long, reuse it over and over, sometimes patience-trying, eco-conscious, slow game by straight-up consuming less and consciously opting to use, wear and support small, local brands and artisans.
Basically, the human-scale companies that genuinely* are much more in line with organic, life-honouring values; like trying really hard to make choices that do not royally fuck the planet, animals and humans in the process kinda thing.
*Don’t get me started on the greenwashing many industries actively partake in.
Enter the work of Manu Laurin @manu_legrandsaphir and his team at Sauvage Mediterranee: an innovative French lifestyle and fashion brand that is working hard to find solutions, clean up the Mediterranean coast and raise awareness, all whilst creating a beautiful role for the discarded trash in the process.
Manu is an avid open-water swimmer who is aware of the deterioration caused to our natural environment by our endlessly polluting industries. Keen to create solutions for future generations, he has been busy developing alternative, recycled, low and zero-waste products for Sauvage Mediterranee with local artists ever since he featured in the incredible French film Le Grand Saphir (highly recommend BTW).
In the documentary, Manu features alongside several French characters of the pollution awareness community, our Eddie aka ‘The English Snail – L’Escargot Anglais’ being one of them. Yes, the one and only star and co-author of the bestselling book The Englishman Who Wanted to Clean France by none other than the highly talented Edmund Platt and Natacha Neveu (but who else!).
Le Grand Saphir is a beaut to watch, Jeremy Stadler has captured some truly stunning and heartful images that highlight the oft-overlooked passion many of our fellow humans have for our habitat. Much like Eddie and I tried to convey in the book, The Englishman Who Wanted to Clean France, Le Grand Saphir is a raw and inspiring story of gritty human adventure in our tragically polluted world. It’s another confirmation that shows when we humans are truly in harmony, captivated and moved by the beauty of our surroundings and personal bond to life, we can all feel the urgent need to do something, anything, to guard against the sickening issues surrounding plastic pollution and the avoidable crises we could collectively face if we don’t.
Although I might not be about mindlessly buying for buying’s sake anymore, Sauvage Mediterranee is a project worthy of support if you’d like to treat yourself or someone else to a more conscious gift. Plus, wearing pieces from the Sauvage collection creates great talking points and could be the ideal way to start a conversation around eco-awareness and the power of personal impact!
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan
Updated on Wednesday 8th December 2021