There’s been much ado about Posidonia of late, and for very good reason. This ancient seaweed has spent the past hundred thousand years or so peacefully doing its job underwater, keeping Ibiza and Formentera’s water clean and clear, providing us with oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide and providing a safe haven for many sea creatures to dwell in and then wouldn’t you know it – humans had to come along and ruin everything. It’s not like we did it on purpose of course. We just didn’t think about the consequences of our actions (just like with plastic) and now, we have to take action to rectify them.
Enter Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, Ibiza Preservation Foundation and Love Brand & Co… You know that phrase ‘not all superheroes wear capes’? That’s what kept springing to my mind last Saturday when I attended the launch of the Protecting Posidonia project at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay. Gathered in the resort’s beautiful seaside chiringuito Chambao were the who’s who of eco-warriors from Ibiza and the UK – all joining forces to help raise awareness (and perhaps more importantly, money!) for Posidonia conservation. Let me give you a little bit of a roll call: there was Manu San Félix, who is basically National Geographic’s main man when it comes to underwater photography – he’s also a marine biologist who has spearheaded the Posidonia cause (read more his new Posidonia MAPS app here) in the Balearics. I would have bowed down to this incredible man right then and there on the spot, if it hadn’t been a little inappropriate amongst the rest of the esteemed company!
The co-founders of Ibiza Preservation Foundation were also in attendance – Ben Goldsmith, Serena Cook and William Aitken (who I like to think of as the Alpaca whisperer, but that’s a blog for another time), plus executive director Sandra Benbeniste who seriously fights harder and more passionately for Ibiza’s environment than anyone else I’ve ever met in my life (cue more gushing, bows, perhaps even curtseys). From the IPF council, Jade Brudenell, Frances Llopis and Arturo López were out in force (and possibly others – apologies if we met and I’ve blanked on your name, I may have sipped a few too many glasses of cava sangria!). The IPF have been championing the conservation of this island for over ten years now (read more about their 10th anniversary here!) and really, truly, deserve a million rounds of applause.
Jetting in from the UK were the crew from Love Brand & Co – if you haven’t heart of this seriously stylish sustainable swimwear brand (try saying that five times fast after a glass of sangria), then I suggest you take a look at their website (here!) – and get involved with some guilt-free shopping. The brand’s philosophy is to commit 5% of company revenue to helping conservation projects around the world, and the swimwear is made from recycled water bottles so it’s like a double whammy environmental effort. Founder Oliver Tomalin – who was here in Ibiza for the event, along with the face of the new campaign Toby Huntington-Whiteley (yes, brother of Rosie – those cheekbones, not to mention the double barrelled surname really give it away) – was originally inspired (slash appalled) by the idea that elephants could become extinct in his lifetime, and set about creating a men’s swim wear range dedicated to the cause (you might remember ‘trunks for trunks’?). Over the years, the brand has expanded and now, Oliver is turning his attention to Posidonia – the new range is available exclusively at the Almacen at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay.
OK, so if you’re all as suitably impressed as I was with the guest list, let’s get on with the show. There we all were, gathered in Chambao, where executive chef Carlos Herrero (sorry, more name dropping) and his team had gone all out with the catering. Chef Carlos – who hails from Valencia, the home of paella – prepared a GIANT show paella from scratch while everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the sight of it all, while lots of additional little delicious bite-sized versions of the Chambao menu favourites were being passed around (and devoured), like croquetas, octopus and prawn ceviche, quinoa salads along with the obligatory sangria. It was all very relaxed and casual – like a lovely, family-friendly afternoon on the beach, all in the name of a good cause.
Speaking of families, there were also over 30 little guests in attendance – and by little, I mean kids – who were all encouraged to make use of the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay Kids’ Club, where they were painting rainbows and the Protecting Posidona logo onto cool canvas bags. I have to be honest, I really wanted to join in, it looked so much fun and the results were a kind of cool hipster-esque tote that you would totally stash your (eco-friendly) yoga mat in. For the toddlers, the ground became a canvas, with an enormous space dedicated to colouring in and creating more seagrass-inspired art.
For the big kids (and this time I mean grown-ups), the games came in the form of a silent auction, with an array of prizes provided by Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay (all the good stuff – an overnight stays, dinner for two at Nobu, lunch for four at Chambao, a John Frieda Salon experience and treatments at the Six Senses Spa), plus Posidonia artwork created by Tomalin and local artist Elizabeth Rose Langford. Sadly, I was outbid on these beautiful works – but I guess when the proceeds are going to charity, one certainly cannot complain. Also included in the auction was a day out for 36 people on Ibiza’s hottest sailing boat, Saga, which was quite possibly the most popular item on the bill (when you see this boat, you’ll know exactly why).
Around 6000€ was raised through the auction for the Protecting Posidonia project – if Posidonia could talk, I’m sure it would be saying ‘gracias’ right about now. There were also some inspirational (and nice and concise) speeches by Goldsmith, Tomilan and San Félix, about the eco-partnership between the three brands, the new range of swimwear and of course, the importance of conserving Posidonia respectively. And while I could convey the message here, I think it’s probably easier if you listen to the main main himself – without any further ado, I’m going to hand you over to Manu San Félix himself…