Sea Shepherd Merchandise FAQs

Tuesday, 25 Jul, 2017

Sea Shepherd merchandise sales help us fund our direct-action campaigns around the world. We get a lot of questions about our merchandise, about where and how it’s made, shipping issues, and other frequently-asked questions, so we asked our Global Merchandise Director Jeroen Botter to respond to some of the most common ones here.

Text on top of the photo. Photo by photographer/Sea Shepherd.

Why do you have different e-stores?

Sea Shepherd is a movement, but consists of different country charities with their own outlets such as e-stores and events. All countries contribute to our Global campaigns.

Why is international shipping so expensive?

We recommend everybody to shop in a store closest to their location to avoid high shipping and possible import taxes. Sea Shepherd obviously doen’t have Amazon volume in parcels, so unfortunately we are unable to negotiate better rates at this time.

How do you select your products?

Sea Shepherd has a number of categories where we develop new products, apparel being the most dominant. We’re looking more towards (water) sport related items for example, a category that is in high demand according to supporter feedback and polls. We won’t be branching out at random, but feel free to let us know what you would like to add to the collection, through our socials.

Why do you use the Jolly Roger so often?

The Jolly Roger is by far our most popular logo, despite the view of some deeming it to aggressive looking. The meaning behind the logo can be found here. Clearly we are not the real pirates, but it’s a theme we all like and we know you do as well. We consider it part of our heritage. This is the reason while it will always be part of the collection and our colors.

How can I tell if the products are official Sea Shepherd merchandise?

There’s only a number of official Sea Shepherd e-stores. They can be found on the Global landing page. Otherwise use the link used from your local Sea Shepherd charity, for example ‘shop' on the US url

Where does the money go to?

All proceeds go to the Sea Shepherd campaigns, just like the donations.

Why do you sell items from recycled plastic, isn’t that just harming the ocean?

All merchandise production leaves a footprint and we try to make it as small as possible. Eco friendly product and packaging is just part of it. Together with our partners we are building a full cradle to cradle supply chain, but this takes time. Reusing plastics thought recycling is a circular process and therefor worth sourcing. However we aware of the negatives that come with recycling synthetics. For merchandise that is washed often, we prefer not to use recycled polyester because of micro particle release. 

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Merchandise Director
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What does the future hold in terms of merch?

We will have more seasonal items in the future, as well as outdoor gear. Working with specialist companies like Hoodlamb enables us to launch items for specific conditions like the classic winter coat, keeping you warm at arctic temperatures. Furthermore, you can expect surf gear, jewelry and bags.

What if I come across illegal merch?

Except for gear coming from the UK eBay store, all new merch sold on Amazon, eBay and Alibaba (or similar) is fraudulent. Please don’t buy it. We’re already in talks with the big online resellers, so no reason in sending us every link. Should you however find a different source, please inform your national Sea Shepherd group.

Do you have your own factories and design team?

Sea Shepherd has very limited staff, so a lot of the design and production is being outsourced. That way we keep costs variable and low as possible. Luckily there’s some very talented graphic amongst our volunteers that provide us with great design or art that we can use for merch.

How do you check eco-friendly production and social compliance?

Sea Shepherd recently formalized a Code of Conduct for all their suppliers. We are in the process of implementing the CoC. Once in place there’s room for agencies like Bureau Veritas to audit on our behalf.

How do you choose suppliers and when do they qualify?

In the CoC we have listed a number of standards (like GOTSFWF) we feel are minimum in eco- and social compliance. Should a supplier not qualify and/or isn’t intrinsically motivated to support out cause, then we will not work with them.

Why are some products relatively expensive?

We sell quality merchandise that lasts. Improving durability is going against the single use economy and we urge our customers to use our items as long as possible. That quality comes as a price: we pay more to purchase and therefor so do you.

Do you prefer donations to merch sales?

In all honesty, yes. Donations do not require us to invest. Of course, merch is a means to reach more people and show what we stand for. But ultimately donations are what keep the fleet going.

Will you open more brick & mortar stores?

We have the store in Amsterdam and Bremen at the moment. A number of dive schools will join as resellers and Australia is launching a collection for independent local stores. So yes, you will be able to find us more often offline in the future. Don’t forget that we will represent at events also, so visit your local Sea Shepherd event.

Is there a page where I can find all merch items together?

No, unfortunately not. If you want to stay informed about new product, then follow the Sea Shepherd Store socials.

Can I make my own Sea Shepherd gear to support you guys?

Our trademarks are protected and we ask everyone not to use them with our permission. Thanks for understanding.

Why do you work with companies like Dr. Bronner’s?

Activist companies like Bronner’s have our DNA and we welcome any partner that helps us make the change from within. We pick our partners carefully, avoiding green washing attempts where we can. Without your and their support Sea Shepherd couldn’t continue to conserve, defend and protect.

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