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Parley with Pharrell: LIVE BLOG

July 02, 2013
tags:#environmental activism, #Parley, #Pharrell Williams
by:Jack Bicker
Parley for Oceans aims to change the way we think about plastic. With 46,000 pieces of the toxic material floating in every square kilometre of ocean, creatives, entrepreneurs and change-makers from around the world are converging on Berlin to end our waste.

15:43 - Parley for Oceans has wrapped up for today, as its participants merge into the Berlin fashion week crowd to evangelise! We bow out with the words of designer Tom Sachs...

Recycling is great, but there's a huge energy cost. My philosophy is, don't make things to recycle, make them to last. If you make something to last, you won't need to recycle...

"Environmental responsibility is very important to our brand" - veteran H&M designer Margareta Van den Bosch (15:20)

15:14 - Our company works out of New York where you are kicking plastic down the street all the time. But that's money. When melted down a plastic bottle is the same polymer as found in polyester. Tyson Toussant - co-founder of Bionic Yarn and Pharrell Williams collaborator talking to Parely organiser Cyrill  Gutsch.

Designer Tom Sachs, joining Parley from New York by Skype,  imagined a sustainable approach to design:

Can you imagine a vehicle that is made to be repaired and not replaced. A car that if you had it for ten years, you would take pride in the fact that it was ten years old. Imagine a hip hop star bragging about how old their car is, not how many...

13:15 - Paul Watson, talking to event organiser Cyrill Gutsch by phone link, told us:

The earth is like a spaceship hurtling across the galaxy at 500km a second. And like every space ship, it has a life support system that provides the air we breath and the water we drink... but we are not crew members, we are passengers, but we're killing the crew members - the people who actually do the work to take care of us. And there is only so much damage that you can do before the system breaks down. 

13:00 - The consensus is that the best way to incentivise the removal of plastics from our oceans is to create products that make a commercial use of it.

Tim Coombs and Tyson Toussant, founders of Return Textiles (2nd & 4th left), have created a new bionic yarn  that breaks down plastic so that it can be spun into a fabric with uses ranging from denim jeans, through to tough, durable straps for shipping containers.

Tyson suggested that:

We collect the garbage from the ocean, and turn low grade plastic into high-quality plastic. The process delivers a high-quality texture, and increased durability... turning plastics bottles into fibre, spinning into yarn... from Denim to cargo logistics straps for ships, to boat covers to ski jackets. The design is versatile and has many applications. 

12: 31 - "We need to teach care for the environment as if it were a tradition. The same way that we teach our kids to look after themselves, we should teach them to take care of the environment...

It's clear that there is no help from corporations or politicians; that just leaves humanity! "

12:24pm - Eco-warrior and veteran Greenpeace activist Paul Watson joins the conference via telephone...

"If the ocean dies, we die. The best way we can remove plastics from the ocean is to find a commercial use for it. We need to develop ships and technology to remove that plastic from the sea and then recycle it"

12:00pm - Parley for Oceans kicks off with a panel discussion including event headliner Pharrell Williams, and Bionic Yarn co-founder Tim Coombs.

"I came to this project because I want to balance my own personal footprint - which isn't perfect. I wanted to be part of a movement that preached to people and changed the world. The ocean was our first home. This is the only home we have. We should be trying to preserve the world we have!"

Article written by:
jack bicker
Jack Bicker