By Chere Di Boscio
Some musicians occasionally come out with a range of clothes they claim to have designed themselves. But Pharrell Williams, as usual, has gone one step beyond: he’s created his own textile company called Bionic Yarn, no less.
The multitalented, multitasking musician/designer/producer/entrepreneur/ became Creative Director of Bionic Yarn in 2009. The ‘yarn’ is based on plastic pollution salvaged from the oceans and recycled into textiles, and the concept is part of the Vortex Project, an initiative by Parley for the Oceans in collaboration with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to help rid the oceans of plastic and put it to good use.
Since its founding in 2013, a variety of environmentalists, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, creative companies and NGOs have joined Vortex, and today, the advisory board includes Plastic Pollution Coalition, Ocean Alliance, Mare, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and the Alba Group.
Bionic yarn forms the perfect base for RAW for the Oceans, a collection by G-Star which is aimed at minimising plastic contamination of the seas. The brand is dedicated to working with Bionic Yarn over the long term, and has vowed to integrate Bionic Yarn material into its product lines where possible.
But G-Star’s dedication to sustainability doesn’t stop there: they’re also experimenting with 3D denim designing to reduce the waste that normally occurs in the clothing production process.
Williams couldn’t be more delighted with the partnership: “Working with G-Star RAW was an obvious choice because they have a legacy of pushing the boundaries of fashion and denim forward. Bionic Yarn is a company built around performance, denim is the perfect category to show the world what our product can do. Everyone has jeans in their closet,” he stated.
Not content to help nudge one brand towards sustainability, he’s also paired up with Adidas to design an Adidas Originals x Pharrell Williams collection, many pieces of which will incorporate Bionic Yarn, too.
It’s become clear that Williams is on a mission to make sustainability the epitome of chic: he’s encouraged huge companies including Top Shop, Moncler and the Gap to use Bionic yarn in their lines. “We want to give sustainability another facet”, he says. “When someone tells you that something’s sustainable, you think its going to feel like cardboard—the only way to dispel that is to express the cool.”
And no one expresses the cool quite like Pharrell Williams.
Photo credits: Pharrell Williams Ocean pic: Wikicommons. Others: diaryofahollywoodstreetking.com and postalmusicmag.com