I don’t know about you, but when I’m walking along the beach, I’d rather have sand between my toes than straws and bottle caps. Nowadays it seems like there’s a whole lot of plastic everything; from your plastic keyboard, your plastic takeaway cup or even the tiny beads in your facial scrub. Most commonly, plastic seems to make its way to our oceans. In fact, the United Nations Environment Program named plastic as the largest source of ocean litter.
Here’s a few facts about plastic and the world we live in:
- We waste enough plastic to circle the earth 4 times, each year.
- According to Green Peace, around 100 million tons of plastic are produced each year, of which about 10 million tons ends in the sea.
- More likely than not, that bottle of Mount Franklin remains afloat until its eventual disintegration intoxicates its way into the stomachs, and around the necks of, over a 100,000 marine mammals and seabirds each year, as stated by the Marine Mammal Center.
Why designers are hitting the bottle (plastic, that is):
In an effort to reduce waste, some eco-conscious designers and brands have turned to ocean plastic and textile waste to create new fabrics. Case in point: Calvin Klein designed Emma Watson’s 2016 Met Gala dress with Newlife fabric, a yarn made entirely out of plastic bottles.
So without further ado, here are some designer’s Team Sporteluxe has on their radar that has us saying: when life gives you plastic, make eco-friendly clothing.
7 brands on the eco-friendly bandwagon:
Surfing world Champ Kelly Slater is well aware of the importance of protecting our oceans and marine mammals, having created menswear label Outerknown. The line entitled “Evolution Series” boasts boardies and jackets made with Econyl, a nylon yarn made from old fishing nets, and other nylon waste. The fabric can be upcycled, meaning it can be broken down and used again (and again) without it affecting the fabric’s quality.
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In collaboration with ocean conservation group, Parley for The Oceans, Adidas have created a shoe straight out of the ocean… literally. Made from illegal deep sea fishing nets and plastic bottles, which were retrieved by none other than ocean advocate Sea Shepard, the shoe was a design in line with adidas’ sustainability initiative to reduce all plastic waste, including their plastic bags in retail stores. The shoe was launched earlier this month, and was part of a limited edition collection to be won via an Instagram competition. But do not fret, eco-warriors, for the brand has stated that more projects of the same kind are underway, so keep your eyes peeled.
How does one convert plastic bottles into ready-to-wear clothing? By a process of filtering the caps and labels from the bottles, they are then shredded, dried and processed into flakes. Once cleaned and melted, yarn is pulled from the melted polyester to be spun and thus create fabric. Rumi X is the active wear brand all about making you feel good by wearing the good stuff, i.e 100% recycled polyester (rPET), which uses 50% less energy to be produced. Did we mention they also use coffee grounds? Very sustainable, very fashionable, we 100% approve.
As far as we’re concerned, the brand responsible for naming itself the LBB “little black bikini” is achievement enough, but Vitamin A designer Amahlia Stevens took it one step further with EcoLux™ green fibres, a matte jersey fabric manufactured from recycled nylon fiber.
As probably one of the most eco-friendly and effective yet, newly launched activewear brand Girlfriend Collective has been making waves for it’s strong initiative towards safe working conditions and workers’ rights for their factory workers in Vietnam. Along with using 100% rPET (that’s from recycled bottles, if you weren’t paying attention earlier), which according to the label’s website requires 85% less energy to produce polyester fabric and 50% less carbon dioxide footprint. That, and the fact that they are giving away free leggings (for the price of shipping) to launch their new campaign…where do we sign up?
Witchery’s stylish leisure and active wear collection incorporates a few sustainable fabrications; such as recycled polyester that is made from discarded water and soda bottles, as well as Nilit Yarn, which provides four way stretch and superior softness and comfort. Going green has never been so stylish or versatile.
Want more? Click here to see some other eco-friendly brands.