Uniting and activating powerful voices for ocean conservation

Being the butt of the joke with Stephen Colbert

Richard Branson –

Last time I took on Stephen Colbert, we ended up attacking each other with fire extinguishers. This time, I was eager to play nice. I even had a present for Stephen…

We got chance to discuss our past duels and everything from Necker Island to space travel. But the main reason I was there was to celebrate World Oceans Day. Stephen is as passionate as I am about protecting the ocean, and we got the chance to discuss why the Ocean is Everybody’s Business.

I explained how we need to fully protect 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030 to give the ocean, and the life within it, space to recover, to replenish, and to build resilience. But Stephen wanted a practical example of what we can all do to help. He was in luck.

One simple, crucial step we can all take is to use less plastic, and to re-use plastic that is already out there. My outfit was a great example. Whipping off my BIONIC® H&M jacket, I explained it was made from recovered marine plastic. Then I pointed at my Adidas running shoes made out of repurposed fishing nets, which Parley for the Oceans kindly gave me earlier on. Next, I put on my sunglasses which, you guessed it, were made completely from recycled plastic.

Then for the kicker: I was also wearing some swimming trunks made from recycled plastic. After taking off my belt and undoing my jeans, I showed them off to Stephen and the audience by mooning them. I’m always willing to be the butt of the joke for a good cause!

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