Crew Created: Ocean-Saving Tees

8 March 2019 By Laura Dunn

Few people better understand the need to save our oceans than those in the superyacht industry. Stewardess Lauren Wardley of M/Y Samadhi launched her company One Back in 2018 to attract an ocean-conscious audience to help save our environment. "One Back is a brand and movement of people on a mission to give back to parts of our planet at threat and people in need," Wardley says, adding that she encourages everyone, not just crew, to join One Back.

“The development for this came about while I was working on my Med season last year,” Wardley says, adding that she thought there was something missing in the buying process. “I therefore decided to create a company that for every product bought, something is given back,” she says.

From that point on, Wardley worked tirelessly to put One Back together. “I did the development by contacting companies and freelancers online in my two-hour breaks each day on my back-to-back charter season last year and launched it when I finished the season,” she says. Every item in the One Back collection carries several internationally recognized certificates to acknowledge their fair trade and organic attributes. To Wardley, it’s important to give back to the planet and people around us that need love and compassion the most. Her shirts are 100 percent organic, natural, and designed to benefit both you and someone else — they give back to fighting ocean pollution, plastic pick-up, and research via an organization called Plastic Bank. Each T-shirt (which come in women’s and men’s sizes) is US$18; AU$25.

In addition to her T-shirt line, Wardley also sells loose-leaf tea, which is 100 percent organic and in line with One Back’s sustainable, health-conscious, planet-concerned mission. Teas come in 50 and 100 grams with prices ranging from US$8-$12 (AU$12-$16). “Each tea sold goes back to helping women stuck in India’s Red Light [District] industry to leave the horrific sex trade and become seamstresses,” says Wardley, who explains that they work with Freeset, an organization that trains these women for a new line of work and empowers them with the life skills needed to be free from human trafficking and the sex trade. “[The organization is] on the front line aiding these women to find the courage to leave what they are doing as a means to support themselves, their families, and children, and become seamstresses,” Wardley says. “[They also] provide counseling, support, shelter, health care, and everything needed to bring these women and their families back to less traumatic and horrific lives.”

One Back is also in the final stages of launching an organic body coffee scrub and lip exfoliator. Wardley says that in addition to making you feel amazing, they also give back to a cause close to her heart: the SISTER2sister program, which is youth development program that provides structured mentoring, workshops, welfare support, and crisis intervention services to vulnerable or disadvantaged teen girls (“little sisters”) age 12 years and up from “big sister” mentors.

Even before she joined her current crew family, One Back was on her mind. “Samadhi had recognized this side business I had, as it was on my résumé and was a strong factor in deciding [on] me for the position when I applied a few months ago,” says Wardley. “They take pride in having a particularly earth-concerned crewmember on board as we try and do our best to conserve any sort of waste and plastic use, being as conservative as possible.” Her crew steers away from plastic drinks and things like shrink wrap — instead always using Tupperware. “Other crewmembers are always looking for ways for me to progress my brand, promote my message, and get out there as much as possible,” says Wardley. “We all incorporate plastic and trash pickup in our exploration of the different places we travel to.”

When it comes to saving the planet, Wardley knows that every action counts. “The superyacht segment should do the best possible it can, as it is already environmentally adverse,” she says. There are many ways that yachts can give back, Wardley says, such as superyacht crew gathering and delivering aid to areas where natural disasters have struck. “As crew are always traveling — we can pick up plastic where ever we go and do our best to consume less and give back more,” she says.

One Back gives back at least 10 percent of profits on any purchase to the specified cause outlined in each product’s description. To learn more, check out her Instagram page @One1Back.