RAW for the Oceans: Creating new apparel from pollutant plastic

With a global rise in living standards and increasing consumerism fuelled by China’s low-cost production and worldwide transportation, more and more plastic goods are finding their way into the natural environment. Over the past 50 years, humankind has produced approximately 700 million tons of plastic, much of which now resides in the oceans, harming ecology, economy and health.

Gstar models

G-star models at New York Fashion week 2015

Image: G-star RAW

G-Star, Bionic Yarn & Pharrell Williams

RAW for the Oceans is a collaborative project that retrieves plastic from the oceans and transforms it into wearables, curated by musician and Creative Director of Bionic Yarn, Pharrell Williams and produced in collaboration with Dutch clothing manufacturer G-Star. The retrieved ocean plastic is first broken down into chips and then shredded to produce fibres, ready to be spun into yarn. Ocean plastic fibres are spun into strong core yarn and then ‘helixed’ with cotton, to make Bionic® yarn. The yarn is then woven or knitted into RAW for the Oceans fabrics. Native New Yorker Tyson Toussant, co-founder of Bionic Yarn, is responsible for the Helix yarn. He began Bionic Yarn to find a practical solution for the plastic litter he saw in his city. Later, after finding a use for waste plastic bottles, he turned his attention to the much larger problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. For the RAW for Oceans project Tyson helped refine Bionic’s helix yarn into the ideal thread for weaving a new generation of denim.

Blue Jeans

Blue jeans at the New York Fashion week Ocean night 2015

Image: G-star RAW

RAW for the oceans

Pharrell Williams

Image: Gstar RAW