A 4.5m-long, 2.5m-high wire sculpture called A Fish Named Faithful was unveiled at the V&A Waterfront last week to raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on marine life.

Commissioned by online eco lifestyle and health retailer Faithful to Nature as one of its Plastic Free July initiatives, A Fish Named Faithful was designed and created by Our Workshop, a Langa-based non-profit headed by internationally-acclaimed designer Heath Nash.

Created from upcycled plastic and repurposed materials and a first for South Africa, the unique sculpture, located on the V&A’s Flagpole Terrace overlooking quay 5, is interactive in that the public are invited to throw plastic waste into the fish’s mouth, filling its belly while highlighting how much of our plastic waste ends up in the stomachs of sea creatures.

“Every year up to 12-million metric tons of plastic lands up in our oceans,” says Faithful to Nature’s CEO Katrien Grobler. “Participating in feeding Faithful plastic is a tangible, fun tool to educate and drive awareness around plastic’s negative effect on ocean life. Public participation means each person can be instrumental in raising awareness and inspiring others into action.”

A Fish Named Faithful – Faithful to Nature unveiled a giant metal fish sculpture to be filled with plastic to raise awareness about plastic waste in the oceans. Photographer: Dwayne Senior

Taking the lead on creating A Fish Named Faithful was Our Workshop’s Project Manager, Richard Mandongwe. He says, “Making a fish as huge as Faithful is always a challenge but I enjoyed it, especially knowing that I was doing it for a good cause. People do not pay attention to plastic’s impact on our environment but I hope through Faithful we are able to shed some light on where most plastic waste ends up and how to preserve nature.”

Adding to this, Heath Nash says, “We all need to start caring more about what we throw away, what we buy and what our individual responsibility is for what lands up in the sea.”

Pioneering ethical retail across South Africa, Faithful to Nature is committed to providing access to products that respect nature, and endeavours to stock products with the least amount of plastic involved.

“Retailers have a big role to play in reducing plastic packaging waste,” says Grobler. “Going plastic-free is asking for a complete paradigm shift but it is our duty to make the process easier for shoppers and inspire more careful shopping and packaging decisions.”

Faithful is mobile and will be at the V&A Waterfront until Wednesday 31 July, after which it will be moved to a new location to assist with the cleanup of plastic waste. All the waste collected will be disposed of in the most effective and responsible way possible – further driving awareness around the creation of pollution and more effective ways to dispose of it.

“Every less straw makes a difference, every bit helps. Let us come together to feed A Fish Named Faithful and add our voices to the plastic-free conversation,” concludes Grobler.

For more information about #AFishNamedFaithful and details about Faithful to Nature’s beach cleanups in collaboration with The Beach Co-Op, visit Faithfultonature.co.za or find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Pictures: Dwayne Senior

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