Last week I was invited to take part in a special yoga sup session in the most beautiful swimming pool of the world, The Noorderparkbad. Together with 19 other (fit)girls, I managed to squeeze myself in a short top and leggings that felt surprisingly comfortable. Relaxing music, tropical plants, healthy snacks and drinks.. The new Sustainable Active Wear collection was being celebrated in full O’Neill style.
Sup yoga at the Noorderparkbad
Noorderparkbad O’Neill picked the special location for the Active Wear launch with good reason. This swimming pool is a real must see! Last year the swimming pool was voted the most beautiful swimming pool in the world. Located in the Northern part of Amsterdam, the swimming pool is also fully sustainable, because the rainwater is collected and then filtered and used in the swimming pool. This was an ideal fit with O’Neill’s sustainable active wear collection, which is made out of recycled ocean plastic.
Wearing the new Active Wear collection
The collection was inspired by the American Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is renowned for its cool waters and beautiful mountain scenery. Hiking and water sports go hand in hand with this magical place. O’Neill has designed the active wear collection in a way that is both suitable for water and on land. When I was wearing it, it felt soft, flexible (believe me, I have tried to do some heavy yoga moves) comfortable, so it’s hard to imagine that the fabric is recycled out of plastic waste!
O’Neill Blue Last year O’Neill presented O’Neill Blue, an initiative that creates surf-related products, all made out of recycled beach plastic. The O’Neill Blue Active Wear collection consists of various surf / yoga leggings and tops that are recognized by the blue Bionic label.The Blue line is simplistic and clean, with eclectic and mountain prints.
By recycling beach and ocean plastic, doesn’t mean the plastic problem in the ocean is being solved but O’Neill hopes that the program will inspire consumers and businesses, operating in the surf industry,to raise awareness when it comes to polluted oceans.
When brands try to be innovative and sustainable at the same time, this is when you got our attention. O’Neill Footwear just launched a slipper that is made out of Palm leaves!
Don’t worry, no palmtrees are cut down for this. Have you heard of the Areca Palm? That is a palm tree which grows in the Southern part of India. Every year there are 80 million leaves falling down from it and nothing was ever done with it … until now ! Together with Tjeerd Veenhoven, a Dutch designer, O’Neill created these slippers with a good story. Tjeerd Veenhoven researches in sustainable and natural materials. He has already created paint of tulips, laminate from potato skins and textiles from algae. and now he was asked by O’Neill to check out the possibilities with palm leather.
The Slipper O’Neill created 2 slippers for women. One slipper with a toe strap called ‘ Chelsea ‘ and one sandal with cross strap under the name ‘ Sophie’ . The footbed and two straps are made of palm leaves. The beach footwear feels comfortable and yet, managed to look stylish. For this extra comfort they’ve used one small suede strap. The cool thing about these palm slippers are that each pair is unique and different in color and has other features, because it being a natural product and no palm leaf is the same!
Tree of Life Besides the ultimate surfer slipper, there is another reason to buy it. The fallen palm leaves picked up by local Indian workers where they are carefully selected for manufacturing. For each palm leaf they pick up, they get paid. This process improves the lives of many Indian people . Hence the name : The ” Tree of Life Project. The palm tree is now vital for the poorest communities , in a country where caste your position on the social ladder states . Who buys these slippers , supports the local Indian employees can now also take advantage of what nature provides.
I’m looking forward to wear my first pair of Palmtree Slippers as my order is on it’s way! They are available at MINT from the 28th of July.
Salty hair, sun-kissed skin and a killer body. Gosh, how we envy those amazing surfer girls. So when O’Neill Europe invited us to go on a 3 day surftrip in the South of France, you can imagine the smiles on our faces. With little time to prepare ourselves for a bikini fit body, we jumped on an airplane to Bordeaux. From there we drove about 2 hours south before arriving in a surfer town called Labenne.
Board ’n Breakfast
We stayed in a bed & breakfast called Board ’n Breakfast (hence the name). If you’re planning a surftrip of your own, this might be the perfect place for you to stay. Board ’n Breakfast started 6 years ago and is run by a Belgium couple, Anton and Ine. They discovered Labenne in their quest for the best surf spots around the world and decided this would be the best place to settle down. You can book a room for as little as 27 euro’s per night including breakfast with croissants, baguettes and homemade jam. During high season you can only book a minimum stay of 7 days but trust us, you will like it. There are several houses you can choose from depending on how many people.
All the houses include a kitchen and bathroom. The super friendly Anton and Ine cook dinner twice a week that includes an amazing BBQ with various salads, homemade veggie burgers, marinated beef and an Indonesian meal with an impressive story. For the Indonesian dinner you pay €2,50 extra per person and this goes to a good cause which stimulates education in India. The B&B includes a swimming pool, tiki bar, garden and plenty of stuff to play with (which includes their friendly dog mawi). But it’s the personal touch of Anton and Ine that really made us fall in love with this place.
Enjoying BBQ’s and Yoga at Board ’n Breakfast.
Surfing O’Neill had something good in store for us, they got 2 of the best Dutch female surfers to teach us how to surf! Dominga Valdes (3 times national champion) and Julia van Rooij (Pro Surfer) had 3 days to make us look good at sea which wasn’t an easy task! On day 1 we drove to the nearest beach with our boards and wetsuits which you can rent at BnB. (Labenne Océan is only a2 min drive) After a short introduction and the history of O’Neill, we walked towards the waves. Ok, we’ve both surfed once or twice before but this looked anything but charming. (The salty hair-do looked a bit different than we expected!) After drinking about 3 liters of seawater we finally managed to stand on our boards for more than 5 seconds. Surfing is exhausting but once you manage to stand up, you get a feeling of satisfaction we can only recommend. Yes, a new addiction was born that day.
Dominga and Julia teaching us the basics Photo by Jelle Mul
Things to do Not far from Labenne there are other nearby beaches where you can surf. You have Capbreton, Seignosse, and surfers town Hossegor is only 30 minutes away. Labenne is easy accessible and a nice drive if you’re heading over by car. No matter if you are a beginner, pro or just want some fun on a board, this surftrip is perfect for everyone.
Other nearby attractions are:
A large water park (only open during summer)
A cosy, pretty zoo / farmhouse
A monkey park
Tree top adventure courses
Horseback riding through the woods and on the beaches
Biking and mountainbiking
Relaxing (we also count this as an extremely important activity!)
Plenty of stuff to do but let’s be honest, once go surfing you probably won’t do anything else! 😉
Sarah getting her surf on
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