Yarmouth born entrepreneur launching clothing kickstarter campaign to clean ocean

Sea Change pledges to remove three pounds of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold.


Published on March 14, 2017

Yarmouth native Brennan Fitzgerald lives in Alberta, where he has launched a new kickstarter campaign for SEA Change Clothing Co. The company has pledged to remove three pounds of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold.

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YARMOUTH - The distance may sound huge - 1,500 kilometres – from landlocked Morinville, Alberta, to the nearest ocean, but for Brennan Fitzgerald, the connection is much closer.

The Yarmouth-born entrepreneur, who now lives in Alberta, will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on March 18 for his SEA Change Clothing Co. The company has pledged to remove three pounds of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold.

“The trash removal angle was a really natural fit for a clothing brand, beyond the fact that it is an issue very near and dear to my heart,” said Fitzgerald.

He says he created SEA Change with the dream of taking serious action on the threats faced by our oceans today.

Some of his best memories of the Yarmouth area are of exploring the landscape with relatives he cared the most about: walking in forests, beachcombing, clamming and birdwatching.

When Fitzgerald was 10, his family moved to Fort McMurray. Shortly after he graduated high school, the Morinville municipal election came up.

Fitzgerald had been debating transferring from the University of Alberta to a university back in N.S., but as the election drew near, he decided to stay and seek election. Politics has always been a passion, and community service has been a huge part of his life over the years.

Although he was skeptical of his chances, being just 19 years old, he was interested in learning how to run in an election. He says the encouragement he received during the election was incredible.

He won’t be reoffering when the next election is held in October but will be completing his term as deputy mayor.

(In Morinville the position rotates between the six councillors.)

Fitzgerald says his visits to home (Yarmouth) will be increasing with the launch of SEA Change.

Fitzgerald says that most clothing nowadays is made from synthetic fabric (aka plastic), and when washed, thousands of tiny microfibres are shed from the fabric and end up polluting oceans and the creatures in it.

Initially, his business will sell items like T-shirts, baseball-style shirts, and hoodies, manufactured in Vancouver from only ocean-friendly materials like organic cotton. As the brand grows, a higher variety of products is planned.

Beyond the three-pound commitment, the company has a role to play in other areas such as advocacy and community building.

“Let’s face it - simply cleaning up trash isn’t going to solve the ocean pollution problem,” said Fitzgerald.

“It’s an incredibly important element in fighting ocean pollution, but we also need to address the sources of ocean pollution and work towards raising awareness and advocating for action on those fronts.”

SEA Change will be responsible for handling logistics of cleanup events throughout the year. These may be small, with just a few participants, or larger community events that engage other local businesses and organizations.

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