The oceans and all sea life are suffocating from an estimated 51 trillion pieces of subsidized, petroleum-based plastic. Each of us is required to lend a helping hand because if the oceans die, we die.
On average, each person in America is consuming at least 326 pounds of plastic per year. Many plastics go straight to landfills, and each day, millions of pieces of plastic are entering rivers, lakes and the oceans.
Plastics in the oceans deeply concerned Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams, so he came up with an idea to turn waste into high-end fashion.
In February, Pharrell became co-owner of G-Star Raw. It is a tremendous partnership between the Dutch denim giant G-Star and a company that Pharrell, Bionic Yarn.
Bionic Yarn’s unique fibers are made of ocean plastic. Pharrell and G-Star created G-Star Raw — a line of denim with a purpose that uses clever technology. Retrieved ocean plastic is broken down into chips then shredded into fibers.
The ocean plastic fiber is then spun into a stronger core yarn and helixed with soft cotton to form bionic yard. The bionic yarn is then weaved or knitted into Raw for the Oceans fabric.
G-Star Raw is transforming ocean plastic into high performance denim that feels and ages like traditional denim. Bionic yarns are up to 400% stronger than conventional yarns.
Since Raw for the Oceans launched two years ago, there have been four collections, which have rescued 10 tons of ocean plastic per collection. Pharrell and G-Star have repurposed 40 tons of ocean plastic in just two years.
“Companies don’t want to make virgin polyester anymore because that contributes to their carbon footprint,” Pharrell said. “What we’d rather do at G-Star Raw is sustain what we have. Instead of using virgin polyester, which is a form of petroleum-based plastic, we use repurposed plastic that been around the block a few times — you know what I mean. It’s much better and smarter. Cotton is full of bee-killing biocides, so G-Star Raw is looking into using the stinging nettle plant as a replacement. G-star Raw is a closed loop company. That means your jeans will never become trash.”
Thank you to Pharrell for loving our oceans and helping to heal them.
Please reduce what you consume, reuse materials like glass mason jars and refuse plastics.
Each Saturday morning, join the global movement #SaturdayPlasticPatrol by picking up three pieces of plastic, taking a picture, and posting it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Loving nature is the solution.
Earth Doctor Reese Halter is the author of “Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save our Planet.”