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Bionic Yarn: Would You Wear Clothes Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles Like Pharrell?

Submitted by on April 23, 2011 – 10:56 amNo Comment

Pharrell has already changed the music game. Now, he’s trying to do the same in the world of fashion.

But this has nothing to do with his Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream, or his love for everything BAPE. Over the course of the last few years, Pharrell has been trying his hardest to sell the idea of Bionic Yarn—which is a type of yarn that is created using recycled plastic bottles—to the government, consumers and, maybe most importantly, manufacturers who create clothing. The idea is simple: Bionic Yarn helps reduce the carbon footprint that you leave every time you buy a new shirt, a pair of pants, or even a couch because all of these items would use recycled products when made with Bionic Yarn instead of new resources. As a result, you’d actually be helping Mother Earth when you got dressed rather than hurting her by using new resources.

Sounds like a win/win situation for you, right? You get the clothing you want to get—and the Bionic Yarn is good for the environment. However, if it were that easy, this yarn would already be used in all of your clothes and we wouldn’t need to sell you on the idea of it. There are a few factors that come into play, though, that make Bionic Yarn a shaky proposition at this time.

The first question with Bionic Yarn is: Would you actually wear it? There are some people who simply wouldn’t like the idea of rocking fresh clothes that are essentially made from garbage. Because of those people, we’re pretty sure that not all companies out there would adopt Bionic Yarn and use it in their products.

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The second question is: Is it a good financial decision to incorporate Bionic Yarn into your products if you’re a manufacturer? And the answer here still seems to be no. At this time, it could actually cost you more to wear a shirt made using Bionic Yarn than a shirt made using cotton, polyester, or some blend of the two because the process of making Bionic Yarn can be expensive. Much like you’ll pay more for a hybrid car than for a car that runs off gasoline, you’re going to have to shell out more money for a shirt made with Bionic Yarn. And that could make the people that answered “Yes!” to question one reconsider their position.

And the real concern here seems to be that Bionic Yarn, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to be catching on nationally. Despite the cosign from Pharrell, he’s been pushing it for several years now with limited results. That leads us to believe that there’s something holding it back at this point. Whether it’s price or just the general skepticism expressed by consumers and manufacturers, Bionic Yarn hasn’t found a  really faithful following yet.

It might find a home in the future, but it seems like companies need to either embrace Bionic Yarn or tell Pharrell to go back to the drawing board here. There’s a great idea buried somewhere in there and he just needs to find it. As we continue to celebrate Mother Earth—Earth Day was yesterday for those of you who missed it!—let’s hope he finds that great idea sooner than later. Because if and when he does land on it, it could turn out to be another real game-changer for him.

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