Virtual Design Festival

Live interview with Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch as part of Virtual Design Festival

To mark World Oceans Day, VDF collaborated with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans to host a live Screentime conversation with its founder Cyrill Gutsch.

Gutsch, a German-born designer and creative entrepreneur based in New York, spoke to Dezeen's founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about the state of health of the world's oceans, and how Parley for the Oceans is working to improve it.

The conversation explored an initiative that Parley for the Oceans terms the Material Revolution, which calls for the redesign and replacement of materials harmful to the ocean, as well as improved education about sustainable materials.

Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch
Cyrill Gutsch founded environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans

Gutsch also introduced new partnerships with both the British Fashion Council and the World Bank, both of which launch today.

Parley for the Oceans is partnering with the British Fashion Council on the launch of the Institute of Positive Fashion, a new website that seeks to promote sustainable practices in the fashion industries.

In collaboration with The World Bank, Parley for the Oceans is launching a $50 million project to curb South Asia's marine plastic pollution and support innovation in the region in sustainable material development.

Gutsch founded Parley for the Oceans in 2012, with the aim of creating a business culture in which protecting the oceans is seen as a more lucrative option than making decisions that pollutes them.

The organisation is focussed on reducing the use of plastics, reclaiming of plastic debris from the oceans, intercepting plastic waste before it reaches the oceans, and developing sustainable materials that can be used in manufacturing in place of plastic.

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen last year, Gutsch stated his belief that removing harmful plastics from the sea is impossible, and that new materials need to be developed to replace plastic production.

Artist Doug Aitken collaborated with Parley for the Oceans
Parley for the Oceans collaborates with creatives like artist Doug Aitken to raise awareness about ocean plastic pollution

Parley for the Oceans has collaborated with numerous artists and fashion brands to raise awareness around ocean pollution and develop material solutions.

The organisation's long-running partnership with Adidas has led to the production of trainers, swimwear and football kits made using recycled ocean plastic, while a project with Dutch fashion brand G-Star RAW and singer Pharell Williams saw the production of a collection of ocean plastic-based garments.

Parley for the Oceans also collaborated with artist Doug Aitken to create a series of geometric underwater sculptures that snorkelers and scuba divers could visit and swim through.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It brings the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

To find out what's coming up at VDF, check out the schedule. For more information or to join the mailing list, email [email protected].