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Blackbough Swim cleans up beach and starts fundraiser for endangered pawikan

LA UNION, PHILIPPINES — Over 170 volunteers united with Blackbough Swim, an international swimwear brand based in the Philippines, to remove a truckload of trash from the nesting beaches of endangered sea turtles in Bacnotan, La Union. The one-day coastal cleanup, coinciding with Earth Day celebrations, underscored Blackbough Swim’s dedication to ecological preservation.

Building on the success of its inaugural cleanup in 2023, which saw over 100 sacks of trash removed from Malinao Beach, Siargao, this year’s event marks Blackbough Swim’s continued commitment to marine conservation, a core tenet of the brand’s sustainability journey. As per a study in 2021 reported by ScienceDaily, removing plastics from our beaches is vital because it stops them from becoming microplastics that endanger marine creatures.

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Harmony for the Seas. It’s a celebration of the beauty of the ocean, as over 170 volunteers from all walks of life come together to contribute to the Blackbough Coastal Cleanup 2024.

The shores of Bacnotan, a sanctuary for the endangered pawikan (sea turtles), were the focal point of this initiative. As part of its ongoing mission to champion marine conservation, Blackbough Swim joined forces with CURMA (Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions), whose leadership in marine turtle conservation in the Philippines has been crucial for coastal forest restoration and waste management practices to protect this vital habitat.


Blackbough Swim’s cleanup was a comprehensive day of environmental education and action. Volunteers did more than just clear trash by learning, contributing, and making a difference. The team conducted the cleanup on the coastal grounds surrounding Alpas, the official hatchery partner of CURMA in Bacnotan, home to one of La Union’s protected sea turtle nesting grounds.

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Amidst the sun-kissed sands, volunteers of all ages come together, leaving a positive mark on our planet.

Volunteers removed over 50 sacks of trash and dangerous debris in an hour, including plastic waste, shoes, tires, and barbed wire. By keeping this habitat clean for ocean wildlife, baby sea turtles can safely return to the ocean during the hatching season.

Post-cleanup, CURMA conducted a lecture called “Turtle 101,” which enlightened participants on the types of turtles in the Philippines, their nesting habits, sea turtle conservation, and how simple daily actions can protect our oceans.

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With steadfast commitment and focus, two young volunteers embody the spirit of change, one piece of litter at a time.

As a token of appreciation for their commitment to environmental preservation, volunteers were also given free rein on Blackbough merch and eco-friendly goodies from Earthy Kit and Magwai.

“Our commitment goes beyond the brand; we are a community that cherishes our natural world. This cleanup reflects our ethos, our commitment to turn the tide towards a sustainable future for all marine life and our future,” said Blackbough Swim Brand Director Misha Bernardino.

CURMA representative Carlos Tamayo added, “Our collaboration with Blackbough Swim has been so much fun for our cleanup community. It’s heartening to see such enthusiasm for conservation, which is crucial for the survival of our beloved pawikan.”

Champ Lui Pio, President of Alpas La Union and Siargao, said, “Together, we’ve taken a step towards a cleaner and healthier beach for all to enjoy. Let’s continue working together to preserve and protect our precious coastal ecosystems.”

In anticipation of International Coastal Cleanup Day in September, the company is gearing for another beach cleanup, continuing its advocacy for ocean conservation.

Blackbough Swim is currently donating 10% of net profits from the ‘Earth Day 2024 Collection’ to CURMA. Each sale of two bikini sets supports a day of care for 60 to 70 sea turtles in La Union, Philippines. Check out the Earth Day 2024 Collection here. For more information about Blackbough Swim and its sustainability initiatives, please visit the Blackbough Swim PH website.

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