The fashion industry is slowly moving in a more sustainable direction, with designers like Mara Hoffman committing to eco-friendly practices, and organizations like the CFDA helping designers change their business models. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that younger figures in the industry, like Jaden Smith, have big ideas about saving the planet as well.
In the new issue of VMan (for which he also appears on the cover), Smith opens up about his longtime interest in the ocean, and how plastic is becoming a growing problem. “I started surfing when I was really young. I learned how the ocean is alive, and has tides,” he said. “Then, I learned about the environment and the ecosystem, and discovered we’re putting out so many CO2 emissions, creating plastic for agriculture and even for processed meats. We start to overheat the planet, melt ice caps, and water levels start to rise. It’s only getting worse.”
Learning about the oceans inspired Smith to start Just Water, his bottled water company that features a paper- and plant-based packaging, removing plastic as a container. But simply removing plastic from the equation is only the beginning for the young star. He also wants to find ways to recycle the plastic already in our oceans.
“If you combine a lot of plastic together and melt it down, it almost becomes cinder block. You can use trash to create an entirely new structure,” he explained. “I feel like it can spark a new industry: I’m trying to make and create so many things out of recycled plastic. If you raise the price of plastic on the ground and in the oceans, more people will begin to pick up trash.”
It’s an interesting theory, and one that is already being put into practice by the fashion industry. Emma Watson wore a Calvin Klein dress to the 2016 Met Gala that was made out of recycled plastic, and Stella McCartney has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit group fighting marine plastic pollution. With his sense of style, Smith should perhaps consider working on a clothing line that combines his love of fashion with his love of the ocean. SZA is doing it!