Ruby Free Interview

We are very excited to share with you our recent interview with Ruby Free! An amazing campaigner and conservationist who sheds light on an amazing organisation, Surfers Against Sewage.

Based in the UK, Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroot environmental charity that campaigns to protect the ocean and all it makes possible. A group of Cornish surfers created it in 1990, fighting to clean up the sea that was making them sick. Now, Surfers Against Sewage campaigns on all that threatens the ocean - plastic pollution, the climate emergency, industrial exploitation, and water quality–taking action triggering changes from the top. With the aid of amazing volunteers and supporters such as Ruby, they've helped raise awareness and create change for ocean activism.


Meet Ruby!
Hello! I am a campaigner, conservationist, illustrator, wildlife medic, newbie farmer/grower and all-round nature nerd.
When being approached by brands for collaborations, I thoroughly look into the sustainability of the product. What compels me to support an initiative or product, is that it does not only promote sustainability, but a solution to the environmental problem at hand. I love that with the Pineapple Island, 'Know Your Locals,' collection, the products are not only promoting an important message of circularity, highlighting the plastic crisis we face but also acting to make use of this material, that would otherwise end up along our beaches and in landfill. 
Working in the nature conservation sector, I've seen how human actions are negatively impacting wildlife. From tour guiding on wildlife boats to living on an offshore island, working at a seabird reserve and volunteering as a wildlife medic, there have been many occasions I've come across seals, seabirds and other wildlife in distress as a result of plastic debris. The situation is bad and unfortunately, getting worse. 
  • Every day, over 8 million pieces of plastic enter our rivers and seas.
  • Annually 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic 
  • Approximately 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.

  So any given opportunity I have to support a company or cause addressing this plastic crisis, I'd openly support!

We know you’re also a SAS rep, can you tell us about your experience with SAS?

I've been an SAS Rep since I was 16, I'm now 23! Being a Rep, I run a number of events and initiatives to help campaign for cleaner rivers and seas; from organising beach cleans and protests and everything in between, much of the work is about raising an awareness for the state of our water bodies, holding pressure on governments and local councils to do better for people and nature. 

What message do you hope to send to consumers through your work as an ambassador for the "Know Your Locals" collection, and how can we all work together to make a positive impact?

I want to amplify products that go above and beyond to be part of the solution, I also want to inspire individuals to get out and connect with their local wild environment, since it offers us so much! From the air we breath to the food we eat, getting out to know your locals; the wildlife, the sand, the sea and trees has never been more important. Appreciating what nature does for us, makes campaigning to protect it such an effortless act. 

What do you think sets the "Know Your Locals" collection apart from other sustainable products?

This is the first collection I've come across that promotes infinite circularity. I love the fact that the products are made from plastic waste, but I love even more that when/if your product reaches the end of its life or breaks, you can give it back to Pineapple Island and they will turn it into something else. 

Can you tell us about any exciting upcoming projects you have in the works, and how they tie into your commitment to sustainability?

Definitely! Both professionally and personally there is a lot going on. I am currently finishing editing my first book which will be launched later this year, so keep your eyes peeled for that! I run a nature-friendly farm with my partner, where we aim to restore biodiversity and reconnect local people to nature, through a range of initiatives. I am doing a lot of work for SAS; from running clean ups as part of the #MillionMileClean, to organising the #EndSewagePollution protest for Northern Ireland - a lot has been going on!
To see and hear more about the work I do, follow @rubyfreewild and @ballyconnellyfarm.