Pharrell Williams On Doing Good Through Fashion and Philanthropy

 PHOTO: COURTESY OF G-STAR RAW VIA REFINERY29.COM

PHOTO: COURTESY OF G-STAR RAW VIA REFINERY29.COM

A music icon, Pharrell's journey into doing good through fashion, started with his first major investment in Bionic Yarn, a company that creates threads from recycled PET - plastic water bottles. As Pharrell's role in the company expanded to creative director, he realized the unfathomable amount of plastic that we throw into our seasons each year, and the potential of his fabric. This lead Pharrell, to get involved with G-Star Raw helping them to launch the company's sustainability focused line, Raw for the Oceans. So it only made sense that Pharrell would become co-owner and head of imagination of the brand this past February.  

After integrating Bionic Yarn into G-Star Raw's denim production in 2013, Raw For The Oceans was born a year later. “We decided, let’s do it, let’s make the first jeans ever, in the world, made with recycled ocean plastic,” said G-Star Raw CMO Schaeffer. “We had a radically short research period — it’s not like you get a nice, clean package of plastic bottles; we had huge containers [of ocean debris], filled with Barbie heads and lighters, and we had to figure out how to turn that into jeans.”

“Here’s the thing" adds Wiliams. "We’re not shoving it in your face — if you’re wearing it, you’re supporting our issue to be sustainable — [the cause] in the clothes,” Williams told Refinery29 “We think the best billboards for people aren’t the ones up in the air, because those get changed out. It’s the ones you’re going to keep for a long time: You keep your denim. Even when you’re not thinking about it, when they’re hanging in your closet, that’s a statement right there in your closet." 

Since Raw For The Oceans launched two years ago, there have been four collections, which have been comprised of approximately 10 tons of plastic per collection. Last year, the brand used an estimated two million plastic bottles and 1,000 tons of plastic debris in its products. 

Talk about impact. As for what's next for Pharrell. Well he hopes to incorporate Bionic Yarn more fully into all the G-Star Raw collections and to get it into the hands of other brands. 

After that? Who knows, the sky is the limit for this socially conscious rockstar. Stay tuned. 

In the meantime, click here to shop the Raw Collection:

Moral of the Story: Doing Good and Looking Good has never been easier. Look around you. There's a ton of waste. Now go figure out a way to turn it into something good.