Spanish retailer goes blue too

El Corte Inglés, the leading Spanish department store chain, has joined a growing number of retailers to ‘go blue’ and acknowledge the importance of safeguarding oceans and marine life.

The group has just completed a successful online trial of the AETHIC skincare range which includes Sôvée sunscreen. Sôvée triple-filter sunscreen is the only product to hold an ecocompatible patent demonstrating scientifically that it leaves marine life intact.

Says AETHIC CEO Allard Marx: “The trend started when we launched Sôvée during the Alannah Weston-inspired Project Ocean promotion in Selfridges during the summer of 2013 and has grown from there to include Whole Foods and several luxury resort hotel boutiques. We’re delighted with the results at El Corte Inglés and two other major retailers are expected to jump on board the ‘blue’ ship by next month”.

Amidst the growing concern for over-fishing, plastic debris, ocean acidification and chemical leaching, sunscreens are the most direct link between human behaviour and damage to marine life. A number of reputable scientific studies have demonstrated how several ingredients commonly used in sunscreens can either be toxic to phytoplankton or start viral killer epidemics in algae that are symbiotic with, and crucial to, coral. Phytoplankton and coral jointly sustain 60-70% of marine life.

One such ingredient, oxybenzone, which is used in around 3,500 sunscreen brands, is the focus of a forthcoming ban campaign from Marx backed by, among others, Alexandra Cousteau and freediver Diana Himmelspach.