September 12, 2014

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Last weekend in New York City, iconic denim brand G-Star RAW unveiled RAW for the Oceans – the much-anticipated collection for Spring/Summer 2015 made from “Bionic Yarn,” an “eco-thread of fibers” created from recycled plastic bottles gathered from the ocean. This eco-fashionable clothing line sprung from a collaboration between Bionic Yarn, the Vortex Project, Parley for the Oceans and the curatorial expertise of musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams.

© Parley for the Oceans

A surreal undersea ambience. Image © Parley for the Oceans.

G-Star RAW, Bionic Yarn and Parley for the Oceans hosted a star-studded guest list for Ocean Night during New York Fashion Week on Friday at 23 Wall Street. Guests appeared on the blue carpet before entering a dim and surreal environment reminiscent of a moonlit scuba dive. Pharrell Williams, creative director of Bionic Yarn and curator for the collection, donned a cobalt blue hat and led a dozen models on stage clad in hip ensembles made from the first-ever denims woven from Bionic Yarn as Frank Ocean and Jay Z’s “Water” played in the background.

Pharrell presenting RAW for the Oceans at NY Fashion Week. Image courtesy RAW for the Oceans by G-Star

Pharrell presenting RAW for the Oceans at NY Fashion Week. Image © RAW for the Oceans by G-Star.

“It’s very easy to forget we live on this planet,” Pharrell told the crowd. “We don’t want to just talk about it, but we actually wanted to put it in practice.”

The night was complete with a presentation about the collection by Williams and an after-party during which guests could peruse the collection on view. Custom columnar aquarium tanks displayed modeled items from the collection, magnifying the texture of the fabrics through the water and glass. Jeans, jumpsuits and jackets were mostly crafted from dark wash denim, some emblazoned with the signature RAW for the Oceans octopus mascot. The collection also includes a selection of t-shirts and sweatshirts reading, “Happy Life. Happy Human Beings. Happy Oceans.”

RAW for the Oceans collection displayed in custom aquarium tanks. Image courtesy Natasha Scripture.

RAW for the Oceans collection displayed in custom aquarium tanks. Image courtesy Natasha Scripture.

A subsequent “Parley on Wall Street Summit” hosted by Parley, the Vortex Project and its collaborators on Saturday night took advantage of the existing displays as a backdrop for a more in-depth presentation of the project’s roots and goals. This event gave an impressive lineup of ocean leaders the chance to give a comprehensive report of the state of our seas. Dr. Sylvia Earle spoke about the need to end plastic pollution and protect our ocean – Earth’s life support system. Chris Jordan spoke about his film Midway Island: Message from the Gyre, which served as inspiration for the Vortex Project initiative. Collaborators of the Vortex Project then presented innovative ways to manage and solve plastic pollution in the ocean, namely through the new RAW for the Oceans clothing line, which became available to the public in select G-Star RAW stores and online that day.

Dr. Sylvia Earle presenting at Parley on Wall Street Summit. Image courtesy Natasha Scripture.

Dr. Sylvia Earle presenting at the Parley on Wall Street Summit. Image courtesy Natasha Scripture.

By fighting plastic pollution through innovation, founder & CEO of Bionic Yarn Tyson Toussant sees “fashion in the future as a place to wear the responsibility.” We can’t wait to see what comes next from this exciting collaboration. By combining science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) with pop culture and fashion, Parley, the Vortex Project and their partners are sure to spark revolutionary inventions and ideas that will continue to make the world a better place.

“Dear human beings: very few of us think of the oceans beyond what we want from it. The oceans need us now. It’s filling up with plastic and ruining the neighborhood. G-Star and Bionic Yarn want you to come together for Big Blue and wear the responsibility for the oceans. Happy life, happy human beings, and happy oceans.” – Pharrell Williams

To learn more about RAW for the Oceans and explore the collection online, visit www.rawfortheoceans.g-star.com.

For more on Parley for the Oceans and the Vortex Project, visit www.parley.tv/#fortheoceans.

And to learn about Bionic Yarn, visit www.bionicyarn.com.

By Courtney Mattison

Featured image (top) courtesy Parley for the Oceans

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