“Our Ocean Mission” is O’Neill’s commitment to protect our playground – the ocean – for generations to come. The ocean inspired Jack O’Neill to create the first wetsuit and now, it inspires Our Ocean Mission and the O’Neill Blue promise. Naturally World Ocean Day, June 8th, is a special day for O’Neill. So special that one day is not enough – in 2021 they’re celebrating World Ocean Month.
As one of the most recognisable brands of the surf industry, O’Neill needs no introduction. The O’Neill Blue label was launched in 2015 and through the years the brand has continuously expanded its O’Neill Blue offer. A product is O’Neill Blue when at least 40% of the product contains sustainable materials. This Spring Summer 2021 season 7 out of 10 products carry the O’Neill Blue label.
And this is only the beginning. The brand is dedicated to their mission to reach 100% of their designs to be O’Neill Blue by 2025. In the words of O’Neill Founder Jack O’Neill, “The Ocean is alive and we’ve got to take care of it.”
O’Neill’s Blue Collection is a reflection of the long-standing commitment they’ve made to the health of our oceans and everything they give us. So far, they’ve recycled over 5,678,084 plastic bottles in their Blue Collection.
In 1996, Jack O’Neill established the O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO), a ground-breaking marine and environmental education program which has recently reached the impressive benchmark of welcoming over 100,000 students. The program is designed to encourage others – particularly young people from deprived backgrounds – to gain a deeper understanding of the ocean world and play their part in its protection.
Jack said that the OSO was the thing he had been most proud of in his eventful and admirable life. His legacy lives on through his environmental work, his pioneering designs and the community of surfers and natural world enthusiasts that he has inspired throughout the world. The O’Neill Blue Collection is a continuation of this legacy.
To celebrate World Ocean Day, O’Neill is celebrating by launching 3 limited edition collections including a Jean Jullien series, Ocean Mission/Women of the Wave series and California Surf Club series. These limited edition collections feature a series of fantastic graphic t-shirts that are each designed to reflect a different facet of what this month means to O’Neill. Keep a lookout for the collections dropping soon on our website.
During Ocean Mission Month, Surfdome is also working with 3 epic people in the surf industry, to showcase their work and tell the story of why the Ocean means so much to them. Over the next month, we will be releasing short films about each of them, so keep your eyes peeled over on our social channels.
Dave runs an O’Neill sponsored surf school in Sennen Cove, West Cornwall, where he teaches kids all he can about the Ocean. As one of the UK’s most experienced surf coaches, Dave knows a thing or two about respecting the Ocean as well as enjoying it. He believes sharing knowledge and teaching the next generation about the importance of protecting our Oceans and the natural world is of utmost importance – just like Jack O’Neill.
“Everyday I spend a moment wondering how lucky I am and how responsible I am for the protection of something so beautiful. If the ocean can bring me this much joy, I’m obliged to keep it as clean and pristine as it should be.”– Dave Muir
Dave is a busy man; surf coach, shop owner, a working photographer and a family man, not to mention an advocate of Ocean health. As a rep for Surfers Against Sewage, Dave also works hard to reduce single use plastic in the local community and further afield, and is often found doing beach cleans with his two girls, Elise and Olive.
“The ocean plays such an important role in my life. It’s allowed me to live the lifestyle I do and bless my children with the childhood they have.”– David Muir
His surf school has always been closely entwined with the local community, and also runs a Youth Academy which has developed some of the UK’s finest surfers. Running beach cleans, school talks and environmental actions throughout the year, Dave and his team are also responsible for the Plastic Free Sennen Community, which promises to center the environment in all their actions and pledge to educate and raise awareness about good stewardship.
Peony Knight started surfing at 7 years old and has been wearing O’Neill wetsuits ever since – first out of necessity (they were the only ones that fit), and now as part of O’Neill’s UK Surf Team. Growing up on an organic farm in North Devon, Peony was lucky to count some of the UK’s best swells as her backyard.
Now a Pro Surfer and the Women’s British Champion, she’s taking on a new challenge: studying Product Development at University of Bristol, with a focus on Sustainable and Human-Centric Design. Peony says that when “understanding the context in which we use products, we as designers have the power to make sustainable behaviour easier.”
With an upbringing focused around hands-on experiences with her environment, Peony says it was this reciprocity that helped her understand ecosystem thinking in design, where mimicking natural cycles can help eliminate waste. Continuously inspired by O’Neill, especially Jack O’Neill’s commitment with his Sea Odyssey initiative, Peony believes the brand’s focus and action on the climate crisis is vital. She hopes to use her passion for design on her own journey into activism.
”I’m really happy to be on the team for a brand whose mission is to focus on the climate crisis. They need to do it. We all need to do it.” – Peony.
Victoria grew up in New Caledonia – a French territory comprising dozens of islands in the South Pacific – with surfing parents who had freshly moved there from France. Now a professional surfer on the WSL Longboard tour, Victoria is based out of well known Hossegor and has crafted a distinct style and grace on her Longboard.
As well as surfing, Victoria also models and has featured in Vogue, Elle and Shape magazines to name a few, and hopes to be a good role model for girls in the sport.
Within O’Neill’s Ocean Mission Month, they are offering tribute to some of our favorite female riders. Alongside Victoria, the collection also celebrates Imogen Caldwell (AUS) and Honolua Blomfield (HWA) as fearless beacons of inspiration for women globally. Women Of The Wave is their collective nom de plume for our kickass female riders.
“[Jack’s] first idea was to be in the ocean as much as possible. This is my mantra as well. I try to surf as much as possible. I always want to be in the ocean.” – Victoria.
By Daisy Maddinson
Shop the O’Neill Blue collection here. Their Limited Edition collection will be dropping soon.