Tim Coombs, Cofounder, Bionic Yarn
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans
Thecla Schaeffer, CMO, G-Star Raw
Paul Watson, Founder, Sea Shepherd Society; Cofounder, Greenpeace
Tim Coombs cofounded Bionic Yarn to create sustainable textiles that meet exacting demands in a variety of industries. The company’s innovative thread technology uses recycled plastic in the core of each strand, then wraps that core in natural or synthetic fibers to create high performance yarns with a refined look and feel. As a founding member of The Vortex Project, Bionic is collaborating with project partner G-Star on a new denim line, Raw for the Ocean, using plastic bottles from recovered marine debris. The collection is curated by Bionic creative director Pharrell Williams.
Cyrill Gutsch is a German born designer, entrepreneur, and strategist who has consulted for global brands, publishing houses, TV networks, and successfully launched a variety of consumer brands. After meeting Paul Watson in 2012, he decided to make the oceans his new client. Gutsch founded Parley for the Oceans as a forum where the creative industries can partner with other groups to stop the destruction of our most precious, life-sustaining ecosystem. Parley’s first initiative, The Vortex Project, aims to remove plastic pollution from our shorelines and waters, where it’s devastating populations of marine mammals, turtles, and seabirds.
Thecla Schaeffer is head of brand strategy and marketing for the Dutch fashion label G-Star RAW. Known for its innovative work in denim, G-Star has carved out an enviable position bridging the luxury and streetwear markets, with flagship stores in New York, London, Paris, and many other cities throughout the world. Schaeffer began her career in advertising, managing numerous global accounts at international agencies. Before joining G-Star in 2011, she was head of strategy at BBDO Amsterdam.
Raised in a Canadian fishing village, Paul Watson has spent more than four decades fighting to protect the oceans and marine life. At age 18 he was the youngest founding member of the Greenpeace Foundation. In 1977, determined to take a stronger stance against illegal exploitation of marine wildlife, he started Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, where he has led more than 200 expeditions in defense of wildlife. Watson has received the Jules Verne Award, the Philippe Cousteau Award, has been named “One of the Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century” by Time magazine, one of “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” by the The Guardian, and is the recipient of the Daily Points of Light Award from former President George H.W. Bush.