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Apr 04.11

Rob Stewart's Revolution

Posted In: LUSH Life >> Green

"I spent the better part of my adult life trying to save sharks thinking that sharks were one of the most important animals we've got on this planet, and if we could save them we could save the ecosystems we depend on for survival."

We first met filmmaker and environmental activist Rob Stewart 5 years ago, when his first film Sharkwater was released. It helped to inspire us, and cities and countries around the world to work towards banning shark finning in an effort to halt the extinction of sharks and ultimately, the oceans.

When we heard about Revolution we were excited; it's been 5 years since his last film was released and we were curious about what he had been up to during this time. Revolution expands on the scope of Sharkwater and focuses on the global environmental crises facing the human population.

Rob Stewart has a lot of fans at LUSH (can you blame us?) and we were lucky enough to have him stop by our offices and speak to us about his newest project. Suffice to say our biggest meeting room at head office was packed as he shared how Revolution came to be:

"When Sharkwater first came out there were 16 countries that had banned shark finning - now there's more than 100 and at least 75 territories, states, countries or cities that have banned shark fin altogether. The fin-free movement has been spreading like mad and that's the proof to us that humanity is good.

This [Revolution] is the survival of our own species. The situation has changed for me. From saving sharks to saving humans; if we want to save anything, we've got to save everything.

When all hope was lost for me on this quest, when I thought, "We're all going to die," I thought I'd buy a chunk of land somewhere in the tropics and I'd grow some vegetables. And then I got a phone call from a 6th grade teacher on the island of Saipan on the island of Micronesia, and she said, "I showed my class your documentary [Sharkwater], and they're pissed. And they want to do something about it." So I sent them some Sharkwater DVD's and a couple books and said, "Cool. Let me know how it goes."

A month later I got another call and she said, "We've managed to put some government policy in place and it's going to go through, can you come and see and hope we get it signed?" So I flew to Saipan and watched as 6th graders made Saipan the second place in the world to entirely ban shark fins. So after I had seen government officials, our environment minister - the best and the brightest not come to an agreement in Cancun [UN Climate Change Conference] and not do anything but a grade 6 class did it, just because they didn't know they couldn't do it.

We're living in a time where humanity is evolving. We care more, we're smarter - we're more than we were before. And this is what life does through adversity and these five mass extinctions; life has revolutionized itself and come out of it cooler. And that's why we have mammals; that's why we have flight, that's why we have humans... because of these catastrophes. But right now we've got the foresight to see what's going on and to be able to make some change.

In addition to the movie, we've designed a mobile app called Revolution, which will be out April 12. It basically is going to show you how to change the world, the way you want to change the world. So if you care about ocean acidification or tigers, it will alert you every time you have an opportunity to protect tigers in your social or physical sphere instead of having to click 15 times and download stuff - you just have one click to sign a petition or tell the government what you want. The eventual hope of the Revolution app is to count down the amount of votes necessary to change government policy.

Martin Luther King brought a million people onto the National Monument in Washington, DC and ushered in equality. The biggest environmental protest we've had in Washington, DC has been 25,000 people. So we've got a long way to go, but we can do it. It's our future - it's the most important issue. We can do this - we just have to get everybody engaged. It's not entirely doom and gloom, I think we're going to figure this out and it's going to be a best-case scenario for everybody."

Revolution is not just about the environment—it’s a film about hope and inspiration. It tells us it’s possible to alleviate the damage already done. We didn't leave our meeting with Rob disheartened or angry, we left full of optimism and ready to make changes in all that we do. It’s time for a Revolution!

Revolution hits theaters on April 12, 2013. We think that you'll love the film and be as inspired as we are.