Denim that cleans the sea

Retrieving plastic rubbish from the ocean to make a popular clothing collection: G-Star managed to do just that with the help of Pharrell Williams and Bionic Yarn. “For us, it is about generating awareness for the pollution of the ocean.”

Pharrell Williams is more than Happy – he is the face of the new G-Star collection Raw for the Oceans, which uses more than 700,000 pet bottles. The ocean is polluted with care - lessly discarded or left-behind bottles. “Since 2006, sustainability has been high on G-Star’s agenda,” says corporate responsibility manager Frouke Bruinsma. “And as design engineers, we want to innovate by combining unexpected elements from different sectors.” Together with the worldfamous rapper and American company Bionic Yarn, they were able to create a delightful surprise: A collection that contributes to a better environment for marine life, which increasingly suffers from all the plastic waste.

The principle is simple. Reclaimed pet bottles are pulverized by Bionic Yarn and processed to form the core of an ‘eco thread’ that feels soft and natural, as the exterior is made from cotton. G-Star is using this thread for a new collection that features stylized octopuses, pet bottles and catchy phrases to draw attention to the plastic problem. The consumer not only buys a special garment with Pharrell Williams’ signature, but is also doing something good for the ocean. All-in-all, the first denim made from recycled plastic is a must-have to be proud of.

This new approach has had considerable impact on production. “G-Star typically works with fabrics that have already been developed. Now we are starting from the thread, which has caused a bit of a stir.” But the investment in change is worth the effort, because this is not a one-off project. “We want to continue to use this thread. The first collection will be launched in September, but the next one is already in development.”