Rocker shifts focus to saving reef
Rocker Mia Chambray has returned home with a slight shift in focus.
The lead singer of Mohawk Radio is now a mother and a huge supporter of Cassine, the company she started with her mom, Jennifer Page.
Since 2018, they have been offering “a curated selection of natural beauty products”.
“It spawned from a real passion from wanting to save the reef,” Ms Chambray said.
“I think people are far more environmentally conscious these days. Young people, especially, are far more aware and people are slowly switching over to greener products.
“Old habits die hard but as consumers, every dollar we spend and every decision that we make has a huge impact. When you switch from a sunscreen with harmful chemicals to a more natural sunscreen you don’t think that you are making a big difference, but you are.
“I think there is a movement and there are a lot of like-minded people here. I just think that we need to start putting some legislation in place to protect our reef and our island.”
Her plan is to also work to convince the Government to start banning items deemed harmful to the environment.
It does not mean she has any plan to quit music. Ms Chambray, whose band was based in Manchester, England, intends to continue performing here with her guitarist husband, James Gregory.
The 37-year-old said the idea for a green skincare business came after her mother noticed oily slicks at Tobacco Bay and Blue Hole.
She discovered it was residue from sunscreen and that it was potentially damaging to the water and the coral reef because of the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. On learning that many beauty products also contained harmful chemicals, Ms Page and her daughter decided to start a business.
Its name came from cassine laneana, commonly known as Bermuda olivewood.
“We chose the name because the olivewood is indigenous to Bermuda and also sustains the integrity of the island just like our coral reefs do — they stand up to hurricanes which is amazing,” Ms Chambray said.
After more than a year of product research, she and her mother settled on Green People, an organic range of reef-safe sunscreen from the UK; Province Apothecary, a skincare line from Canada; and RMS Beauty, a make-up line that uses high-quality, certified organic ingredients.
Ms Chambray attended Saltus Grammar School before graduating with a degree in media and communications from Brock University in Canada. She moved to Britain to pursue her music in 2011.
She believes it is important that the island’s green entrepreneurs and advocates work together in building a movement capable of effecting change.
Since returning home, she has collaborated with Bermudian fashion designer Kim Margareta Deuss on an advert promoting her responsibly sourced swimwear line, Daughters of Summer; models used Ms Chambray’s skincare products.
“We did the shoot on True Bermuda Charters’ yacht, Azalea, which is also committed to reef-safe sunscreen and being environmentally mindful,” she said.
The entrepreneur was also impressed by other actions aimed at protecting the environment: students from Bermuda High School, Warwick Academy and Saltus Grammar School marched from City Hall to Cabinet last month to raise climate-change awareness.
BE Solar, the solar and energy efficiency company, is “trying to get Government to make a plan to have a majority of renewable energy”.
“I am meeting our local politician because I would love to ban harmful chemicals, single-use plastics ... I have met with students at Somersfield Academy who are doing work on reef-safe sunscreen, and other like-minded individuals to get certain sunscreens banned.
“We are passionate about it and we support each other.”
• Look for Cassine’s products at cassine.shop, Island Outfitters, Island Tour Centre, Cambridge Beaches, Coral Beach and Naked Zero. Follow Cassine on Instagram: @cassine.shop