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Name :

Carla Virgos

Where are you from and where do you live? 

I'm a blend of Mexican and Spanish heritage, born and raised in Spain. Over the past five years, I've split my time between London and the Maldives, and now I'm fully immersed in island life on a tiny 1 km island in the Maldives.

 

Tell us about your connection with the ocean.

My connection to the ocean runs deep. Ironically, as a child, I was terrified of its vastness and the unknown it held. Yet, over time, it transformed into my sanctuary. Growing up, like many, I took swimming lessons and spent summers by the sea, but it wasn't until I ventured on a solo journey to the Maldives that I truly fell in love with it. The experience was unlike anything I'd ever felt before. Now, the ocean is not just my home; it's where my business revolves around, and it remains my ultimate source of joy and inspiration.

What is your greatest inspiration and drive to protect mother nature?

My greatest inspiration to protect Mother Nature stems from witnessing firsthand the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and marine life. The ocean is a vital source of life, providing us with food, oxygen, and regulating our climate. However, it's under threat from pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction.

Seeing a turtle with its head trapped in a plastic bottle while free-diving was a heartbreaking moment for me. It highlighted the urgent need to take action to preserve our oceans and protect the creatures that call it home. Plastic pollution is just one of the many threats facing marine life, and it's essential that we all work together to address these issues.

Taking care of nature is crucial not only for the health of our planet but also for our own well-being. The ocean provides us with valuable resources, supports industries, and offers recreational opportunities. By taking steps to reduce our plastic consumption, promote sustainable fishing practices, and support conservation efforts, we can help ensure a healthier future for our oceans and all who depend on them.

What is your favorite Abysse piece /  Why do you love Abysse?

My favorite swimsuit piece from Abysse is the Ama Pacific Long Sleeve Surfsuit. What I love most about Abysse as a brand is its profound connection to water, acknowledging that we are born out of it. This ethos resonates deeply with me. Additionally, Abysse's commitment to sustainability is admirable. They create stunning designs while ensuring their pieces are environmentally friendly, making sustainable fashion accessible to all. Knowing that I can look incredible in the ocean while wearing a piece that doesn't harm the planet is empowering. Every design by Abysse is not only beautiful but also embodies their ethos, making it difficult to choose just one favorite.

 

What characteristics do you think make up an Abysse girl? 

An Abysse girl embodies a unique blend of strength, conviction, and self-confidence. She's a staunch advocate for protecting nature, particularly the ocean, in an industry often driven by fast-paced trends. Sustainability isn't just a buzzword for her; it's a deeply ingrained way of life. She stands firm in her beliefs, unafraid to challenge the status quo and champion brands like Abysse that prioritize ethical practices.

This woman embraces her power as a consumer, choosing to support local brands that make a positive impact on the world. She recognizes that looking terrific and beautiful underwater doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment; it's about aligning style with values. With her determination and unwavering commitment to protecting the planet, the Abysse girl embodies both inner strength and outer beauty, making a statement both on land and beneath the waves.

 

Tell us about a typical day for you, how is it to live on a 1 km island lost in the middle of the Indian Ocean?

Living on a 1km island lost in the middle of the ocean is an experience like no other. It's both different and amazing, requiring some time to adapt to such a confined space. However, living in such close proximity to nature has brought me back to the simple life, deepening my connection to the natural world. Every day is an adventure as I wake up and head straight to the ocean, eager to see what surprises it holds – whether it's whale sharks, sharks, turtles, or other marine wonders. The possibilities in the Maldives are truly endless.

After my ocean exploration, I return to the island for a refreshing fruit bowl of fresh mango and papaya before diving into my project, Kandu. Whether I'm editing content from the day's adventures or spending time with friends, I always make sure to pause and appreciate the beauty of the sunset. It's a lifestyle that may seem unconventional to some, but for me, it's an incredible way to live, filled with nature, community, and endless wonders of the sea.

What is a fun fact about the ocean that you love sharing? 

One fascinating fun fact I love sharing about the ocean is how we identify whale sharks. Just like humans have unique fingerprints with distinct DNA, whale sharks have their own version – their spots! Each whale shark has a pattern of spots that is as unique as a fingerprint, allowing researchers to identify and track individuals over time. It's an incredible example of nature's ingenuity and the endless marvels waiting to be discovered beneath the surface of the ocean.


Do you run or have a favourite foundation towards Ocean protection / conservation ? What is your mission? Are you running a tour expedition?

At KANDU, our mission goes beyond offering typical tours or excursions in the Maldives. We are dedicated to ocean conservation, with sustainability at the core of everything we do. One of our main focuses is addressing the issue of single-use plastic, which despite being banned by law in the Maldives, is still prevalent.

We have taken proactive steps to combat this problem by launching eco-friendly trips that prioritize sustainability. Our tours are unique in that they are entirely free of single-use plastic, providing reusable flasks for all participants. Additionally, our lunchboxes and cutlery are made from wheat straw and recycled plastic collected from the ocean, minimizing our environmental footprint.

During our expeditions, we prioritize education, ensuring that participants learn about the importance of ocean conservation and how they can contribute to preserving marine ecosystems. We also prioritize minimizing noise pollution in the ocean and operate at low speeds around marine animals to reduce disturbance to their natural habitat.

At KANDU, we believe that by respecting and caring for the ocean, we can create a positive impact and ultimately be rewarded in return. Our commitment to sustainability and ocean conservation guides everything we do, and we strive to inspire others to join us in protecting this precious resource for future generations.


Next project, expedition or travel for this year?

 My next exciting project revolves around further developing my KANDU business here in the Maldives. We're constantly striving to enhance our offerings and expand our impact on ocean conservation. However, our next big adventure takes us beyond the Maldives to Mauritius, where we'll embark on a journey to witness the majestic humpback whales and sperm whales.

 

What is your most memorable moment underwater?

It's impossible for me to choose just one most memorable moment underwater because every day brings new and unforgettable encounters! Whether it's the time when two turtles playfully circled around me for 30 minutes, the sudden appearance of a humpback whale, or witnessing the resilience of a manta ray despite being injured by tiger sharks, each experience leaves a lasting impression. Every day in the ocean is filled with remarkable moments, making it impossible to pick just one. So, for me, every day is the best day ever, and every day holds its own memorable moments beneath the waves!

 

Favorite place to dive in the world?

Easy: MALDIVES!

 

@carlavirgos shot by @nazykko in the Maldives

 

 

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