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Rapper Pharrell Goes Environmentalist, But Insists, ‘I’m No Birkenstock-Wearing Tree-Hugger’

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Aug. 21 2012, Published 4:30 a.m. ET

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By Staff

Rapper and music producer Pharrell wants to get one thing clear: Going “green” doesn’t mean you can’t be fly.

The sustainability advocate says as much in a short film about Bionic Yarn – an eco-thread company that makes fabric out of recycled plastic bottles, and has an exclusive sneak peek.

“I’m in this company because we can do cool things…” The Neptunes star says. “I didn’t want to dedicate my life to wearing Birkenstocks. I’m not a tree-hugger.”

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Pharrell is featured in Bionic Men, a new short film co-produced by Adrian Grenier.

The former Entourage actor and climate change activist is the co-founder of SHFT, a multi-media platform highlighting sustainability projects.

“You cannot change the standard if you keep treating this like an alternative…” Pharrell explains about his work with Bionic Yarn.

“But we want to give sustainability another facet because, do you know what the problem is?

“When someone tells you that something is sustainable you think it’s going to feel like cardboard. And the only way to dispel that is to express the cool.

“I looked at the product and I was like: ‘This is made from plastic bottles?’”

Pharrell is no stranger to fashion. In 2005 he was named Esquire’s best-dressed man.

Musically the 39-year-old has collaborated with everyone from Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake.

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Bionic Yarn founder Tyson Toussant also appears in the short film and says that getting Pharrell on board has transformed their profile.

“It’s a night and day difference,” he says. “From day one he brought in three customers.

“He designed for The Gap, Moncler and Topshop and he forced them to use it.”

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