Flash Interview: Trieu Huynh (TRSHBG) on surfing with purpose

March 6, 2020Interviews

At BOOT 2020, we interviewed a number of interesting and inspiring people from different ocean-related companies. What is diving and surfing with purpose? How does an “Ocean positive” business look? What are the benefits of adding underwater cameras to teaching situations? Why is visual inspiration key to make more people care about the Ocean? And, why is diving for exploration so important?

We spoke to Trieu Huynh, founder of TRSHBG.

What is TRSHBG? 

TRSHBG is a trash bag for divers and surfers. The idea is that everybody can start catching trash while doing their favourite activities, like diving, surfing, swimming, or snorkeling.

I started the project one and a half years ago when I was surfing in Balangan, Indonesia. One day, a big trash island was floating by, and I wanted to do pick up the trash. I tried to get myself a bag, but there wasn’t anything available on the internet. So, as a designer, I decided to design one myself. 

A friend of mine is a surf bag maker in Bali, and together we made the first TRSHBG. We constantly tested it and improved our idea until we were happy. The final product is made from recycled materials; we use the scooter tubes and old banners, for example. 

One day I uploaded a video on Facebook, and I got massive feedback, especially from a diving community. It really exploded from there on! First, we made five bags, then ten, twenty, two-hundred bags, and it just keeps growing.

What does surfing with a purpose mean to you?

I’m mainly a surfer, and surfing for me is all about relaxation. I’m not really about competitions; I mostly enjoy floating. And paddling. And every once in awhile a powerful wave. 

It just feels so good to be in the water the whole day. It’s great. 

Where do you see the biggest challenge to motivate and inspire others to become ocean cleaners or ambassador?

Well, the biggest challenge is that we still need to explain to people that it is common sense to remove something that doesn’t belong in the Ocean when you see it. If you don’t do it right on the spot, then nobody does it, you know? That piece of plastic you leave there will stay there for another 400 years. Or sometimes even longer. 

Some people might say: why should I clean anything? There’s so much plastic out there, why should I take away this one piece? Well, if everybody helps we could clean a whole beach quickly. 

Our message is: you can save this fish or this turtle. And you should do it again tomorrow. Just like we clean our houses, our bodies, our streets every day, we should also clean the Ocean every day. 

Sometimes, it’s tough to make people understand that.

How has been the response from other surfers or divers?

The response has been massive, and we’re overwhelmed by all the warm support. It’s been great, and we are in a very comfortable position that we can select the best partners to work with. 

Currently, we’re growing fast, especially within the diving community. The surfer community takes a little bit more persuasion because they want to catch that wave. They often ask, how will this the bag help me do that? Well, I mean, it helps to keep the Ocean clean. So, you can have a better surf tomorrow, you know?

Thank you Trieu Huynh!

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