Seeing ocean dead-zones, bleached corals and armies of industrial fishing vessels on his diving trips in recent years made Philipp Kloeber feel angry and shocked about the state of the reefs, which were a stark contrast to his childhood diving memories.
“I wanted to stand up and do something to protect what I felt was so important to me. It is difficult to fully describe the vivid life in the ocean if you haven’t been there and explored this yourself. What happens beneath the surface and far into the oceans is a different and often terrifying reality,” said the Ironman triathlete who works in the forensic and integrity services department of a global consulting firm.
This internal push to stand up, no matter how lost the cause in the face of overwhelming odds, saw Philipp pledge his support to Sea Shepherd and become a vegan three years ago.
Founded in 1977, Sea Shepherd has grown into a global movement with the objective to be an international direct action organisation defending, protecting and conserving our oceans with all marine life in it.
As an avid scuba diver and a keen triathlete (triathlons are usually held in open water), the ocean means a lot to Philipp – which is why his PURPOSE custom trisuit is inspired by Sea Shepherd.
“Humans, the climate and the oceans are critically interconnected. If the oceans die, we die and if we don’t wake up right now it might be too late to reverse the harm and destruction we are already causing on a daily basis,” he added.
Sea Shepherd cooperates with law enforcement authorities such as Interpol to expose and confront poachers, whaling vessels, polluters and other illegal activity with its fleet of mainly 12 vessels and thousands of multinational staff (most of them volunteers) working on different operations across the globe.
As a non-profit organisation, Sea Shepherd depends on donations to fuel and maintain their vessels. Thus, Philipp intends to raise awareness for them and the important broader cause through his triathlon pursuits.
Philipp explained, “As part of my training and races, I will frequently provide links to update people on Sea Shepherd’s operations, how to make one-off donations (no matter how small) or become a member and donate on a monthly basis.
“However, beyond that my key objective here is to make people think deep and look beyond what is in plain sight. In the end, the root problem is not the industrial farmers, shark-fin fishers or whaling poachers, but we the consumers asking for these products creating demand. If we as a society changed certain behaviours, such as the use of the single use plastics and obsessive meat, dairy and seafood consumption, our chances for recovery and more a positive future would significantly improve.”
CHOICE OF PURPOSE
When Philipp moved to Singapore in 2018 with his spouse, that was when he started his triathlon journey officially, after picking up cycling and swimming during his time in Melbourne, Australia. He quickly got himself acquainted with the local triathlon community in late 2018 and got to know of PURPOSE “almost instantly”.
“I immediately felt a strong connection to the brand as it is a local Singaporean brand which designed its cycling, running and trisuits to accommodate the harsh local conditions in heat and humidity.
“PURPOSE for me is really more than just a manufacturer of highest quality gear but a movement that connects people in their passion for cycling, running and triathlon in Southeast Asia,” he said.
Since his first Ironman 70.3 in Bintan in August 2019, Philipp has only been wearing PURPOSE trisuits.
“The trisuits wear more like a second skin that becomes part of your body to protect you from rain, sun and the heat. The suits look sleek too! When I wanted to make my Sea Shepherd trisuit, it was a no-brainer to do it with PURPOSE as I already identify myself so strongly with the brand. My spouse and I have a growing closet of PURPOSE products between us!” he shared.
Philipp sees PURPOSE as a personal, young local brand that stands for people who are very passionate about cycling, running and triathlons – and this passion for the same sport strongly connects everyone from different ethnical, cultural and professional backgrounds.
“I know that Noor and his team are meticulous in their approach to design every single detail about their trisuits to give people like me the best chances to perform well in training and racing conditions.”
Customise your own trisuit, cycling jersey or running top at https://purpose.asia/pages/custom