Parley Honored with Special Recognition Award at 2018 Fashion Awards


The British Fashion Council honors Parley for the invention of Ocean Plastic® and commitments to building a new economy of creativity and collaboration


The British Fashion Council honored Parley with the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the 2018 Fashion Awards held in partnership with Swarovski. Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch accepted the award during the December 10 ceremony at the Prince Albert Hall in London, where industry leaders and opinion formers, designers, students and a global audience gathered to recognize the powers of creativity and innovation to transform the possibilities of fashion and the future world it helps shape.

Parley was recognized especially for the invention of Ocean Plastic®, our range of premium, eco-innovative materials created from upcycled marine plastic waste intercepted from remote islands, waters and coastlines by our global cleanup network. In 2015, the first products made with Ocean Plastic® put the marine plastic pollution crisis into the global media spotlight and presented a unique solution to a complex challenge — one that diverges from traditional recycling approaches.


Parley sees plastic as a design failure that must be reinvented and replaced by new materials and methods that work in harmony with the natural ecosystem. With Ocean Plastic®, we raised awareness in new audiences and provided an immediate replacement for virgin plastic materials, as well as a fundraising tool for the movement to develop and implement long-term solutions. Every product made and purchased with a Parley logo empowers individuals in the fight against plastic. Ocean Plastic® is more than a material, it’s a catalyst for a new economy and our invitation to participate in building a new culture and better world. With our materials, we introduced a proof of concept for our strategy, Parley AIR (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign), and a roadmap for others to follow.

Parley was founded in 2012 to bridge the gap between environmentalists and corporations, and to inspire and empower the creators — those who shape reality — to lead the way. We are a collaboration network where seemingly disparate groups can talk, think and act together to solve big ocean problems, like plastic pollution. Our mission is to bring the economic system of mankind into harmony with the ecosystem that allows for our survival: the oceans.

We believe the fashion industry, with its reach and influence, has the responsibility and power to create change, fast. We all have a unique role to play in this movement. Through collaboration and eco-innovation, we can reinvent the ways we live and work on a finite, blue planet. The key is working together.

It is beyond encouraging to receive this award and earn the continued support of the fashion industry. But we still have so much work to do.


“We have to remind ourselves that we really haven’t achieved anything at this point... To ‘wake up’ is one thing, but the destruction [of our planet] is still speeding up — we didn’t stop it yet. This is just the beginning, and in 12 years, we have to say we’ve succeeded. We’ll look back and say, that was the beginning of something big, the beginning of a material revolution.”

– Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley



Learn more:

Read the full press release

Vogue interviews Cyrill

Header Image by: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images