The ultimate collaborator, Pharrell Williams teamed up with Return Textiles cofounder & CEO Tyson Toussant almost five years ago to bring attention and business to their Bionic Yarn product. While making fibre out of recycled plastic bottles is nothing new, the company's commitment to hand feel, functionality, and durability has allowed them to quickly bring on significant brand partners - including Nike who early on ordered 3000 yards for Cole Haan handbags.
"We wanted to establish a brand that everyone associates with high quality, like Gore-Tex," says Tim Coombs, cofounder of Return Textiles. The list of brands and retailers who have used the fibre are impressive - including The Gap, Topshop, Timberland, and Moncler (pictured below) .
While the retailers mission is not to curb consumption, improved materials sustainability is a move in the right direction. The recycled plastic bottles are melted and pulled into tiny fibres which are spun together in a core yarn - which is then wrapped with an outer-layer. The core ensures durability, the outer-layer is what gives the yarn its feel. Certainly not eliminating the industry's environmental footprint, Bionic Yarn is however, as part of their marketing says, "Reap[ing] more from what we sew"