“We are all connected by one ocean, our life source. 70% of our planet is ocean and the ocean produces over half of the oxygen on Earth. Every second breath comes from the sea.”
Champion of sustainability Runa Ray teamed up with Oceanic Global to unveil a conceptual collection made entirely out of algae collected on the beaches of Northern California. Plant-based textiles have always been a passion for Ray, who is using this collection as a means to explore algae as a feedstock.
The pieces are made with blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), which were symbolically the first oxygen producers on the planet. Due to the current events affecting the Earth and sustainability, Ray decided to implement these life giving organisms to educate people about the fabric of the oceans. “There is enough floating fabric and garments left in the world to clothe us for decades,” she states, “and fast fashion has caused garments to end up in landfills.”
In an attempt to educate and inspire, Ray’s incredible designs were brought to life by washed up algae on the California shore. She drapes the algae in folds and waves and molds it into shapes that echo the ocean at the seams. Each piece of algae is washed of its impurities and sculpted to form a dress, whose fabric takes on a faded and washed color from the sun. The garments are organic, alive, and soft; they live and breathe like the algae that they are comprised of.
The stunning lead design of the set is a desiccated brown dress composed of various lengths of dried algae. The piece ebbs and flows like the tide, bringing viewers in and letting them out as eyes make their way down the cascades of dried plant material. A heart shaped neckline gives the garment a touch of feminine energy, while the sheer biodegradability of it draws the eye and natural curiosity.
“With this collection, we are using fashion to bridge people and the ocean, presenting a regenerative choice,” Oceanic Global states.
The collection will be donated to a museum for educational purposes at its close, and will continue to fuse art and fashion for generations to come.