Vanderohe x Alice Shirley for Marine Savers

Vanderohe x Alice Shirley for Marine Savers limited print

Olivia Thorpe, founder of @vanderohe

Vanderohe x Alice Shirley for Marine Savers
Vanderohe x Alice Shirley for Marine Savers

Artist @alicekshirley

A Word From Vanderohe Founder, Olivia Thorpe

Covering 72% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is our largest and most important ecosystem – it sustains all life. It creates our weather, drives our climate and produces over half of the world’s oxygen while absorbing 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. The ocean is the planet’s life force and something we have to protect at all costs. After only 70 years since mass production began, over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been made. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean every year, yet we produce more new plastic now than ever before. Plastics are everywhere and in everything, not least, cosmetics.

Marine conservation has been at the forefront of Vanderohe since I founded the brand and it was the main driving force behind my initial creative choices, such as using paper labels, glass bottles, cotton stock packaging and 100% certified organic and wild-crafted ingredients. A few years prior I had come across an amazing marine conservation team in the Maldives, called Marine Savers, who were leading the way in coral reef protection and propagation. I learned from their team that coral reefs are a vital source of human medicine, that they are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, upon which a quarter of all marine life depend, and that we are set to lose it all if we don’t rapidly change our ways. 

At the same time I learned that chemicals in commercial sun creams can kill entire coral reefs, that the plastic packaging of cosmetic products is rarely recycled, ending up, instead, on shorelines of developing countries, floating in the ocean and contaminating coral; clinging to it, sickening it and eventually killing it. Research has shown that the likelihood of disease increases from 4% to 89% when corals are in contact with plastic. Without teams like Marine Savers tirelessly repropagating the coral reefs, testing coral species in different depths of water, and monitoring their health, we have no chance at enabling this precious and complex organism to thrive and survive. 

It’s not always fruitful either. In 2016, years of Marine Savers’ reefscaping work was wiped out due to a rise in ocean temperature following El Niño and as they meticulously work to rebuild and expand their work further, we continue to pollute at an unthoughtful and alarming rate. Every second of their work therefore makes a huge difference, which is why we at Vanderohe pledge 10% profits from our bestselling product No.1 Nourishing Face Serum to Marine Savers. So when Covid-19 began triggering global shutdowns, I knew immediately that I needed to provide further support to this team. 

I’ve collected Alice’s work since she started doing commissions for Hermès.  The reason I covet her artwork is because it always depicts animals and nature in the most exquisite, charming and beautiful way. In our hallway I have a giant olive tree that she painted with hundreds of gold leaves that catch the light every time I walk downstairs in the morning. In our bathrooms we have large inky lions and leopards licking their paws and I treasure a very precious collection of her silk and cashmere scarves for Hermès which feature wolves howling at the stars, blue-eyed bears, narwhals, exotic butterflies, rare and beautiful flowers and free flowing rivers. 

When I decided to try to raise additional funds for Marine Savers, I knew immediately I wanted Alice to create an artwork that would make someone really reflect on the ocean. Alice is famous for her ultramarine blue that she uses throughout her artwork and this deep expanse of blue across the painting she created is the perfect medium to capture your stare and make you really think. The plants either side of this “window into the ocean” are ingredients we use at Vanderohe and the significance of this is to ask people to reflect on how their choice of beauty product can have a negative or positive impact on the ocean. It’s a deliberately bold painting, designed to celebrate the big blue, but also to call upon our collective conscience to protect it.

100% proceeds from sales of Alice Shirley x Vanderohe “Into The Blue” will go to Marine Savers.

A Word From Artist, Alice Shirley

As a passionate conservationist, I was very impressed by Olivia’s approach to creating her beautiful products, with quality ingredients paramount, and concern for the brand’s minimal environmental impact a primary focus. Coral reefs are an increasingly at risk habitat, without them, it will not only affect the fish that rely on reefs to survive, but it will also affect the livelihood of thousands of people who rely on reefs for their tourist industry and as safety barriers for the land. This wonderful collaboration has been a great way to align our work together, to raise funds to create new seeded coral ecosystems with the brilliant charity Marine Savers, bringing hope for the future. Something we all very much need right now!


Shop the print here.



Vanderohe x Alice Shirley for Marine Savers

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