Tag Archives: Pacific

New Zealand clothing brand aims to be completely plastic free by 2023 | Instant News

Last year, an Auckland-based outdoor brand Icebreaker sponsored by ultra French swimmers Ben lecomte to swim across the Pacific from Hawaii to San Francisco via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. He swims 350 nautical miles during the summer. The goal is simple: swim and collect plastic samples.

Working with a scientific support crew, he was able to further explain a growing problem: plastics are everywhere in our system. Through his entire swimming stretch from Hawaii to the California Coast, he and his crew collected more than 45,000 microplastics. From tiny fragments of plastic to toilet seats to hidden microplastics, they reveal the severity of plastic pollution in our oceans.

This is why Icebreaker, a New Zealand brand founded in 1995, and known for its wool-based collections, is committed to becoming completely plastic free by 2023. For outdoor brands that value performance and sustainability in their clothing, Opting out of synthetic fibers fully environmentally friendly and biodegradable options can be a challenge. Can they do it?

I spoke with Alistair Smith, Director of Global Product Design at Icebreaker, to learn about the process of removing synthetic materials from their collections, and the obstacles they face on this mission to become plastic free.

Chhabra: Why 2023?

Smith: We decided to set plastic-free materials by 2023 as our own goal around the beginning of this year (2020). As you can imagine, the wider apparel industry is a big, slow-moving machine at times. We know that this bold goal cannot be achieved overnight. As we planned projects, we realized that this was not just a case of swapping materials for alternatives.

For some common fibers, such as elastane (which provides stretch), there is no other 100% natural fiber alternative there is which can provide the same ‘off-the-shelf’ performance. So, knowing we were going to build some solutions from scratch, we set 2023 as an optimistic target. We work from chemicals, yarns, fabrics, products, which takes time to get it right, but is the right approach.

Chhabra: How far is the company now on this journey?

Smith: We’re making good progress, but there are still interesting challenges to solve. We started from a very nice place. Our product range is already 87% natural fiber from a material point of view.

We’ve taken some bold and difficult decisions to bring us closer to our goal. For example, we removed 59 ‘synthetic weight’ styles from our range which would have a retail value of US $ 7.9 million.

A big, bold choice, but we know the product doesn’t fit our brand goals and our plastic-free materials by 2023 goal. We are currently working on our 2022 product and are making major progress towards approaching 100% natural fiber.

Chhabra: What was the hardest part of this trip?

Smith: This is a product and material innovation. When it comes to maintaining stretch and recovery, finding a 100% natural fiber solution for elastane has been an exciting journey. It doesn’t exist at the moment. This is a growing area in yarn innovation.

There is a new bio-based synthetic solution where part of the chemical component of elastane can be produced from renewable natural sources, not from oil. But it is a medium term solution, ‘better not perfect’ because it may be 40% or 60% natural. They are definitely better than today’s oil-based synthetic yarns, but our goal remains 100% natural fibers. Staying true to this vision helps us go beyond our comfort zone in material innovation with our partners.

Ultimately, customers only need a product to function, so we are very conscious of maintaining or improving performance and functionality as we eliminate oil-based synthetics. We look at it on a case-by-case basis to ensure that we are doing what’s right for the product and for the customer.

Chhabra: How did the Icebreaker find this alternative material?

Smith: Being part of the VF Corporation brand family has been a huge advantage, because of the cross-brand collaboration. We have worked with and challenged some of the world’s leading chemical and yarn manufacturers. We have shared our ambitions with them and challenged them to help us innovate natural solutions. We’ve also collaborated with several innovative start-up materials companies exploring new natural sources of yarn and materials for apparel. Lastly, bio-synthetics is a growing area where we can make ingredients from sugar cane and castor oil instead of traditional oil-based synthetics. Many of these solutions are still in their infancy, but offer bright prospects for the future.


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The Marines complete a Darwin deployment that includes Australia-Pacific’s first Blackjack drone flight | Instant News

The Marines complete a Darwin deployment that includes Australia’s first Blackjack drone flight

The roughly 1,000 US Marines participating in the annual rotation to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory have all completed missions and returned to their home stations.

The aim of the Marine-Darwin Rotation Force – which began in 2012, a year after US and Australian leaders agreed to conduct joint training annually – is to increase the ability of US and Australian Defense Force forces to operate together and provide deployed troops. able to respond to crises in the region.

It is the first time a Marine Corps RQ-21A Blackjack reconnaissance drone has been flown in Australia, US Marine Colonel David Banning, commander of the rotational forces, said in a news release Thursday.

Made by a Boeing subsidiary, the Blackjack is a small tactical aircraft that carries a maximum payload of 39 pounds and can last over 16 hours, depending on how it is configured. It has a line of sight range of 64 miles, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Among other uses, the Marines use Blackjack to keep an eye on long-range targets.

“This year’s rotation is testament to the strong alliance between Australia and the United States,” said Banning. “We can complete the rotation effectively even while operating under the threat of COVID-19.”

Countermeasures against COVID-19, which is a disease caused by the coronavirus, mean that the Marines present this year are considerably smaller than the 2,500 who arrived in 2019. The size and scope of activities are limited, with US rotation to Australia delayed by two. month because of the pandemic.

All incoming Marines are required to complete a 14-day quarantine and be tested before and after that confinement. American troop movements are limited to Australian defense facilities in the Northern Territory for all deployments.

Several major activities that had been planned for this year were changed or postponed due to pandemic considerations.

The Marines begin their first training in smaller groups after they leave quarantine.

“We worked from platoon-level assaults to battalion-sized events,” Banning said in a news release. “We see integration [Australian Defense Force] artillery and aviation assets and aviation from our sister service. “

Australia’s entire integrated Air-Ground-Sea Task Force and Defense Forces successfully demonstrated readiness to respond to the crisis during the culminating Koolendong Exercise, the statement said.

Such emergencies could involve anything from humanitarian aid to “high-class warfare,” said the news release.

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P&O Australia Expects Local Cruise Industry Rebound – Cruise Industry News | Instant News

P&O Cruises Australia earlier this week announced the next stage of its fleet transformation with Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter (ahead of schedule), arriving in the first half of 2021 in a sign of confidence in the rebound expected from the local shipping industry, according to the company.

Those ships are the current Princess Gold and Star.

Pacific Adventure will begin sailing from Sydney on April 30 next year and Pacific Encounter deliveries will take at least six months to ensure the local fleet is ready to drive a sailing revival at the right time, the company said.

Pacific Encounter is scheduled to call Brisbane home from 7 May 2021 – but additional voyages may be added earlier, depending on the cruise ship’s return time in Australia.

“The arrival of these highly anticipated ships, Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter, in the first half of next year is a step change in the fleet and a sign of confidence in the market,” said P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell.

“This investment in our fleet demonstrates that P&O Cruises Australia is ready to lead the industry in a revival when the government and public health authorities agree it is appropriate to start sailing again with current protocols.

“It is also a sign of respect to our many loyal guests as well as crews, fresh food suppliers, entertainers and musicians, shore tour operators and port logistics partners who wish to be part of the revival of Australia’s shipping sector over time. .

“These are challenging times for the entire community and, on our part, we have been working to use these operational breaks to accelerate our planned fleet refresh. Our paths to return to roaming may be unclear, but we want to give guests confidence in our future fleet and our commitment to Australia and New Zealand, ”said Myrmell.

Important point:

  • Pacific Adventure will call Sydney home. Her first voyage was a three-night Short Break scheduled for April 30, 2021.
  • Pacific Adventure was originally planned to debut in November this year, but was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Brisbane’s new international cruise terminal will be the new port of origin for Pacific Encounter. At this stage, his first voyage is scheduled to depart from Brisbane on 7 May 2021 and will be a short three night break. Additional shipping could be added earlier, the company said.
  • Pacific Explorer will be homeporting from Auckland, New Zealand from 6 February 2021 until its final voyage on 25 April 2021.

The company, citing COVID-19, also said that a water slide would be installed at a later date.


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Australia is no longer sending navies to the Middle East, shifting focus to Asia-Pacific, China | Instant News

Australia’s three-decade naval presence in the Middle East is coming to an abrupt end this year as the Federal Government grapples with an increasingly uncertain strategic environment that is getting closer to home.

Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds announced Australia would no longer send Australian Navy ships to the Middle East every year.

The last Australian Navy ship to deploy to the region, HMAS Toowoomba, returned to Australia in June this year.

Australia will also withdraw from the US-led naval coalition patrolling the Strait of Hormuz by the end of 2020.

That means Australia’s 30 years of maritime operations in the Middle East – largely focused on counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations – are coming to an end.

In a statement, Senator Reynolds said the Government’s priorities had shifted.

“This year is already visible [the] The Navy is responding to the wildfires and the COVID-19 crisis, five ship deployments across Southeast Asia and the Pacific, ongoing commitments to initiatives under Pacific Step Up, and some very successful activities with our regional partners, “said Minister Reynolds.

“As a result, the Australian Defense Force will reduce its naval presence in the Middle East to allow more resources to be deployed in our region.”

The shift is marked on Government’s most recent Defense Strategic Update, arguing that the deteriorating strategic situation will force the military to focus more on the Indo-Pacific region and directly on Australia.

The Australian Navy will also rejoin the Malabar naval exercise with the US, Japan and India.(Supplier: DoD / Chris Cavagnaro)

China has been involved in massive naval building over the past decade, and has asserted increased control over the waters of the disputed South China Sea by building a series of military fortifications.

Relations between the United States and China have also become increasingly hostile, sharply increasing the risk of conflict in the region.

Australia has participated in a growing number naval exercises in the region with a range of allies and partners, including the United States and Japan.

Earlier this year Australian warships confront the Chinese Navy while sailing near the disputed island claimed by Beijing on its way to the trilateral exercise.

Next month The Australian Navy will also rejoin the Malabar naval exercise with the US, Japan and India after being absent for more than a decade.

Senior officials, military officers and Morrison Government ministers have been contemplating transitioning away from the Middle East for several years.

Last year there was debate within the Federal Government when the Trump Administration asked Australia to join a US-led naval coalition to protect ships in the Strait of Hormuz near Iran.

Eventually, The Morrison government agreed to send reconnaissance aircraft and frigates to join the mission.

A gray plane sits on the airport runway
An Australian reconnaissance aircraft joins the US-led coalition in the Strait of Hormuz.(Provided: Department of Defense / Brenton Kwaterski)

But one government source told the ABC the decision was “hotly debated.”

The head of Joint Naval Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, said the changes announced by the Government were “historic” and Senator Reynolds said Australia could be “proud” of its naval contribution.

“For more than 30 years we have supported freedom of navigation, maritime security and free trade flows in the Middle East,” he said.

“Working closely with our partners, our commitment is invaluable in disrupting the global drug trade, supporting reducing funding channels for terrorism activities and building the capacity of regional forces.”


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