A few days ago I happened to stumble upon a documentary featuring Pharrell entitled, The Plastic Age. It was released on i-D magazine’s youtube channel back in April and produced by AllDAYEVERYDAY. It was a very interesting watch as it shared a lot of insight into the impact that plastic has on our planet. “In the 1950’s and 60’s, plastic was heavily marketed to consumers as a time saving device and matter of convenience” says Anna Cummins of 5 Gyres Institute. Today, it is estimated that we make 288 million tons of plastic annually. This is more than 1 BILLION TONS every 4 years! So what happens when this plastic escapes or does not make it into our waste management system? Where does all of this plastic end up?
In the Pacific Ocean exists a “Great Pacific Patch” which is approximately 1500 nautical miles from shore. It was discovered by Captain Charles Moore in 1997. This is where anything that we throw into the ocean that floats eventually ends up. Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society mentions, “We live in the most highly educated society that has ever evolved on this planet, everybody knows…the real problem is getting everyone to care.” His estimate of the number of plastic in our oceans is around 700 million tons. It’s important for us to think about what we use and how we discard it. Think about this, when we utilize plastic that is not properly discarded, it makes it’s way into our oceans. Shortly after, it is consumed by fish. Eventually it makes it’s way back up our food chain to be consumed by us humans. “The chemicals that are in plastic make their way up the food chain and now they are in us because we’re eating those fish” says Kahi Pacarro of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
So, what is the solution? Well, no one person can solve it. However, Parley for the Oceans unites partners in all categories of industries to develop new ways of doing business to protect our oceans. In an effort to address the issue of plastic in the ocean, Bionic Yarn helps to turn low-grade plastic into high-profile material. Tim Coombs, Co-Founder of Bionic Yarn shares the process of how it works. “Bionic Yarn is a yarn spinning process that takes recycled plastic bottles and turns them into a high-quality yarn and fabric. A plastic bottle is shredded into flakes, melted, extruded into fibers, spinned into yarn, and helixed into another fiber like cotton to create another surface over the recycled plastic.” “Everything has a purpose, even trash” says Tyson Toussant, Co-Founder of Bionic Yarn, “We should be accountable for everything. The basic idea is to synchronize the economy and the environment by pulling out the plastic from the ocean, keeping it on land, and making it into products for us to use.”
RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is a collection of products to make the world’s first denim from recycled ocean plastic. RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is where science, activism, and fashion intersect. “Innovation comes from a lot of different people working together” says Shubhankar Ray Global Brand Director at G-Star RAW. The idea of RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is to establish a new mindset within the fashion industry and inspire other segments of business and economy to follow these models. Captain Paul Watson sums it up best, “The strength of an eco-system is in diversity. The strength of any movement must also lie in diversity. All social revolutions in history have been carried out by passionate individuals who discover, build, and ideate. There are ways of solving these problems if we can harness our imagination to find solutions through everybody’s particular love.”
What do you love? #ALOVERSAmbition
(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.