MILAN — Italian fashion house Prada is helping to fund a United Nations program that will enlist high school students from 10 cities to spread awareness about how humans impact the world’s oceans, organizers said Wednesday.
The Sea Beyond project is part of a wider, decade-long initiative to promote ocean science and sustainability being overseen by the U.N.’s cultural and scientific agency, UNESCO.
Prada said in a press release that it would contribute the proceeds from sales of its PRADA RE-NYLON capsule collection, made from plastic recovered from the seas and recycled, to finance the four-month education project.
The cities with schools participating in Sea Beyond are Berlin, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Lisbon, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Venice, Italy.
Local high school teachers will receive training to develop lessons on the importance of oceans, sources of marine pollution such as plastics, and on the fashion industry’s moves to more sustainable production methods to help protect the seas.
Students would create public awareness campaigns, the best of which will be presented during a June 2-6. U.N. oceans conference in Lisbon.
‘’The global scale of the problems facing the oceans means that no single country or organization can fix them all,’’ said Vladimir Ryabinin, executive secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. ‘’We need partnerships across science, decision-makers and the private sector.’’
The French luxury conglomerate LVMH is supporting a similar project with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program, which aims to safeguard biodiversity. Initiatives have included a training and support program for beekeepers in response to alarming levels of bee mortality around the world.
The luxury fashion world has been working to address some of the environmental damage caused by the apparel industry – the world’s second-most polluting industry after oil – and to distinguish itself from fast-fashion.
Also on Wednesday, Vogue Italia released an image of its February front cover dedicated to the November flooding in Venice, featuring Italian model Vittoria Ceretti holding up a sign reading ‘’Protect Venice.’’
The publication also is providing information about donating to a bank account Venice officials opened to collect money for its response to the November emergency.
‘’We trust that many readers, not only Italian, will contribute, given that Venice is a universal heritage site,” Vogue Italia director Emanuele Farneti.
Vogue Italia made another environmental statement when it moved to lower its carbon footprint by not doing photo shoots and using illustrations for its January issue.