Bionic Yarn threads better place for the world


By: Chris Andrews ’18

There is genius at work in the idea to match up the plastic that pollutes our oceans with the fashion industry. There is a dire need for change to address this environmental issue harming one of the world’s most precious natural resources. According to GreenPeace, 10 percent of the 100 million tons of plastic produced each year end up in our seas and oceans.

Bionic Yarn is one such company that is making a big dent in addressing the problem. Since its launch in 2009, the New York City-based startup has cleaned up about 7 million plastic bottles from our waterways and turned them into yarn to make polyester for clothes, footwear, bags, luggage, furniture and art. Its website identifies the motivation for the company: “We believe all of the resources we consume on Earth should have a positive impact on society and our natural environment.”

The company was inspired by Patagonia fleece jackets made of recycled plastic which founder Tyson Toussant loved the idea and wondered why more products were not made of recycled material. He realized that one barrier was that recycled fabric was weaker than other materials so he set out to make one as durable as any other fabric on the market by combining the recycled plastic with natural fibers.

While most people are aware of the facts about pollution and many people volunteer their time, the extent of the damage at this point requires many more helping hands. The company figured, what better way to get people involved with environmental conservation than to couple those efforts with popular products. “I had to face the fact that the only way people are going to move is if it appeals to their vanity,” Toussant says.

Since Bionic Yarn entered the fashion industry, they have made deals with companies like Topshop, Cole Haan, Moncler, The Gap, O’Neill, and Timberland to include the products in their clothing lines. The company made news when Toussant and co-founder, Tim Coombs, brought on Pharrell Williams as creative director. With G-Star Raw, they launched a denim line, Raw for the Oceans, for jeans made from ocean plastic.

I think that Bionic Yarn is a great idea because each year, there is an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash in the ocean where most of that trash is plastic. When we have businesses like these, the world becomes safer and it makes our country come together as one.

Go out and get yourself some interesting threads and save our oceans at the same time. Shop like your life depends on it..because it does.