In March 2022, Tombolo launched a spicy, icy shirt: the 'Ménage-à-Gnaw' cabana shirt depicts two seals on an iceberg and an overeager shark looking to join them.

But this light-hearted shirt supported a very serious cause: for the shirt's entire launch month of March 2022, we donated 100% of sales of this shirt to the Arctic Ice Project. (And 15% thereafter).

Below is a deep dive into how the Arctic Ice Project is attempting to protect the Arctic and mitigate climate change on a global scale.

A moonshot mission

The Arctic Ice Project is leading the effort to stop arctic ice melt and stabilize the global climate while the world's economies decarbonize. They collaborate with top specialists and organizations in the climate field, coordinating efforts to protect key regions of the Arctic, our planet's heat shield.

The leading solution that they are pursuing is a novel materials approach that proposes to deploy a thin layer of microspheres across strategically chosen regions of the Arctic that will improve the reflectivity of sea ice, mimicking natural processes to reflect solar energy out of our atmosphere and restore the Arctic.

It could buy us the time we need to successfully decarbonize.


The first tenet of Arctic Ice Project's mission statement is "First, do no harm." To that end, they are testing a material that is the leading contender due to its efficacy, safety, and abundance.

That material is predominantly silica: small hollow glass microspheres. They can be thought of as a kind of small, fine white beach sand that floats. In essence, the material is a lot like snow: the microspheres stick to ice and water on contact and don't attract oil-based pollutants. Silica is a compound of two of earth's most abundant materials: oxygen and silicon. (Silicon comprises 59% of the earth's crust, it's the main component of 95%+ of known rocks).

But large-scale field-testing still needs to be done...

Arctic Ice Project has launched a multi-year, multi-million dollar collaboration with SINTEF, one of the largest independent research organizations in Europe. SINTEF has 2,000+ researchers centered in Trondheim, Norway. The full joint work plan covers materials testing, safety, performance testing and methods for deployment.

The initial phase begins with lab testing on how the material performs in SINTEF’s simulated Arctic Ocean environment. These detailed studies then become the basis for further experimentation in the field. SINTEF scientists have already identified field test locations in Svalbard, north of the Arctic Circle, that could provide invaluable real-world feedback.

Funding and donations-- like the one Tombolo has made thanks to your shirt purchases-- are essential to completing this project.

Here you can find more information and additional resources regarding Arctic Ice Project.

The Mission

For even more detail regarding Arctic Ice Project's mission, learn more at https://www.arcticiceproject.org/the-project/

The Team

Learn more about the Arctic Ice Project team and their acclaimed Scientific Advisory Board here.

Recent Press

Click here for recent press about the Arctic Ice Project.

Donate Now

You can click here to donate to AIP now.

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