Pharrell Williams’ Collaboration with Woolworths & G-Star: Bio Yarn & The Future of Big Business Fashion!

Catherine Bowen small
Catherine Bowen
, Plascon Trends Editor

Pharrell Williams/Woolworths "Are You With Us" Campaign, Image Source

Pharrell Williams/Woolworths “Are You With Us” Campaign, Image Source:

For the second time this week I’m referencing Design Indaba – even though it was a month ago – and I’m talking Shubhankar Ray and his “Molecular Brand Chemistry” talk…

Ray is a man who loves music and its power; he believes that music amplifies ideas, which is something I’ll come back to in a short while.

Ray also sees brands in a ‘DNA’ context: breaking them down into atoms and sifting out what is important and not important to customers… He wants to know what brands believe in and what they stand for, because if you don’t stand for something you fall for everything. For any brand’s message to have relevancy, the context is really important. Ray has worked for some really great brands over the years, like G-Star.

Shubhankar Ray, Image Source

Shubhankar Ray, Image Source:

Back to the music. Working with brands is a bit like tuning a radio dial and turning up or down the volume on certain characteristics. At the moment, cool brands in fashion seem to be turning up the volume on the sustainable/green edges to their offerings.

Ray talked about the “G-Star” and Pharrell Williams collaboration on the “big blue/bio yarn” project. Pharrell as a celebrity is a fantastic catalyst because he has relevancy; he’s the ideal person to develop a new brand offering with:

Capitalism has gone wrong not because business is bad, but because there’s not enough education of consumers. The solution is to turn the problem into product: the best and most sustainable products are the ones that transform waste into something else.

And now our very own Woolworths is doing it, also with Pharrell Williams who takes on the role of Style Director across a series of sustainability-focused projects.

Pharrell is a global icon for social cohesion, advancement through education and environmental awareness. These same values lie at the heart of our business and form the foundation on which this partnership is built. We hope Pharrell will help us make sustainability cool for the next generation of South Africans and help us create a better future for our children, our country and our planet.

— Ian Moir, Woolworths CEO (Source:

Check out Pharrell’s message below:

This is one SA company that’s setting trends across the board… And again, in this rather sad week for SA, some good news and positivity is called for!

Don’t forget to catch our #trendtalk session today in Cape Town:

#trendtalk 17th April 2015

#trendtalk 17th April 2015

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