Friday May 15, 2015

Critics warn recycling ocean plastic into clothes is not progressive

Adidas and G-Star say they're helping the oceans with clothes made of recycled garbage. But not everyone agrees.

Adidas and G-Star say they're helping the oceans with clothes made of recycled garbage. But not everyone agrees. (Edward Conde, Flickr cc)

Listen 27:29

Superstar musician Pharrell William fondly remembers his childhood living right off of the Atlantic Ocean. These days Pharrell is involved with a new project to try to help clean up the oceans. And it's not a charity single. In fact it has more to do with fashion than music. 

Pharrell is the public face of a new campaign by clothing companies Adidas and G-Star Raw to transform plastic ocean debris into hip shoes and jeans. Exactly how that works, could use a little explanation.

Cyrill Gutsch is the founder of Parley For The Oceans, an organization that aims to use consumerism to help the oceans. We reached him in New York City.

Marcus Eriksen's work contributed to this ocean plastic project but that doesn't mean he's completely onboard. He is the director of research and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, which is dedicated to marine conservation and ridding the oceans of trash. We reached him in Washington, D.C.

Marine litter. On its way to becoming microplastics.

When it comes to the plastics littering our oceans... the stuff we can see is just the tip of the iceburg. Chelsea Rochman is a marine ecologist, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis. 

We requested interviews with Adidas and G-Star... and we're still waiting to hear back from them on the concerns raised about microplastics.
 

Have thoughts you want to share with us on this topic? Or anything you hear on The Current?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio.
 

RELATED LINKS

Some Adidas products to be made of plastic debris from oceans - The Christian Science Monitor

This Earth Day, Green Is the New Denim - The New York Times

Plastic Smog: Microplastics Invade Our Oceans - Marcus Eriksen, EcoWatch