Phillip Lim, creative director and co-founder of his eponymous label, and researcher Charlotte McCurdy joined One X One to reimagine a new conscious luxury by employing carbon-neutral materials.
“The key to this experiment is to take it out of a museum context and put it in real life. So we thought about: how do we push it into making sequins? Sequins are synonymous with plastic waste.” — Phillip Lim
McCurdy has been researching bio-plastic from algae as part of her involvement in the New Museum’s cultural incubator, NEW INC. Algae is one of the most efficent organisms on Earth at converting solar energy to stored chemical potential energy — in other words, the best at sequestering carbon.
“I come from thinking about formal sustainability strategy, but then I realized that the real gap and the real challenge we had was in creating visions of workable, livable futures, so that we could have a collective vision we could pull towards as a society. That’s really creative work.” — Charlotte McCurdy
Keenly aware of the negative effects of conventional of textiles, Lim has been a champion for a number of years of natural fibers and materials with low environmental impact.
Together, they embarked upon a journey to employ carbon neutral materials to reimagine a new conscious luxury.
“We were inspired by shades of green and how photosynthesis happens, how light reflects and refracts. We imagined this whole ecosystem of marine life, from fishing nets, as the fabric which the sequins would go on, to pearls and crystals inspired by oysters, deconstructing and reconstructing this ecosystem.” — Phillip Lim
As a result of his partnership with Charlotte McCurdy, Phillip Lim has also collaborated with PYRATES, an R&D company and textile supplier that focuses on developing and supplying innovative and eco-responsible materials to develop a base fabric for the algae-made sequins that is an antiperspirant and thermoregulating material.