Amber Valletta has been focusing on environmental impact issues on a global scale for over 20 years, with ocean conservation her primary concern.
When Valletta’s son was six months old, she moved to California and began working with non-governmental organizations that focused on environmental sustainability. She joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which works to cut carbon emissions and expand clean energy. Valletta also partnered with Oceana, the nation’s largest international ocean conservation organization, on its Seafood Contamination Campaign. She worked with them to shut down coal mines because of mercury poisoning in fish. Eventually, Valletta’s ongoing commitment to sustainability caught the attention of the Fashion Institute of Technology where she served as Sustainability Ambassador and British Vogue where she serves as contributing editor offering ways to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle from beauty to interior design.
This week, Valletta hosted the United Nation’s annual conference on World Oceans Day (June 8). Organized by Oceanic Global, a nonprofit organization that advocates for ocean conservation, the event brought together speakers from over 20 countries to discuss the state of our blue planet. “This year, the theme is revitalization,” explains Oceanic Global founder Lea d’Auriol. “It’s about collective action for the ocean, but also making sure that we’re addressing the climate nexus from a sense of regeneration—looking at how people can proactively be involved in delivering these solutions since so much of the narrative has been so overwhelmingly negative.”
In her opening speech, Valletta addressed plastic pollution and increased acidification by saying, “Because nature in its very essence is forgiving, we still have a chance”(Valletta). Her optimism around greater human awareness and engagement was clear: “Sometimes something so vast can be taken for granted and undervalued.”
While pushing for government regulations to protect the ocean is key to its health, Valletta is also holding brands accountable. She is a big proponent of aluminum or glass packaging and environmentally friendly formulations. Today, more than 90% of La Mer’s seaweed ingredients are responsibly sourced and evaluated through their effects on humans, ecosystems, and environmental health.
First and foremost, the biggest concern of consumers has to do with taking care to pay attention to the products they purchase and the products they use on their bodies. As an example, when the consumer can manage to embrace products whose materials are readily recyclable or reusable, it can lead to good things for the environment in the long run.