Fashion is one of the worst industries for the environment; it’s responsible for huge levels of carbon emissions and water pollution, and massive numbers of textiles end up in landfill each year. Thankfully there are lots of great sustainable brands out there who are doing their bit for the planet by using eco-friendly materials and ethical production processes. For Plastic Free July, we’re spotlighting ten brands that are turning plastic trash into fashion treasure, making swimwear, activewear, sunnies and more out of old bottles and nets. And we’ve more on how to live plastic free with 8 top tips on how to make changes in your life from Beth Noy, founder of the brilliant Plastic Freedom.
Stay Wild Swim
Stay Wild is helping fight the scourge of plastic in our oceans with their eco-friendly swimwear made from a genius little thing called ECONYL®, a yarn crafted from regenerated fishing nets collected from the ocean as well as other scrap materials, which is turned into high-quality fabric.
This Aussie brand is all about quality activewear that’s ethical and environmentally friendly. The COMPRESSLITE range features pieces made with fabric created from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles – each pair of leggings uses six bottles and each sports bra uses two, with Nimble estimating they’ve saved over 400,000 bottles from landfill in a year.
This Chilean eyewear brand makes frames from natural and recycled materials. The ECONYL plastic polymers they use are made from fishing nets in Patagonia as well as other waste collected by local people, so not only is this waste plastic being recycled, the locals are able to earn money too.
Each Kind Bag is made of six plastic bottles (which have been turned into RPET fabric) and because it’s 100% RPET the bag itself can even be recycled again. Weighing just 50g, easily foldable, and with the capacity of three regular plastic bags, it’s the ultimate reusable bag.
Girlfriend Collective makes its activewear from polyester, made from plastic bottles from Taiwan and ECONYL, made from recycled fishing nets. Not only are their pieces super comfortable and functional, they’re inclusive with a wide range of sizes on offer.
Patagonia has been using recycled polyester made from plastic bottles since 1993 – they were one of the first outdoor clothing companies to turn waste into fleece – and now 87% of the polyester in this season’s lines is recycled.
British brand Batoko specialises in bold swimwear made from recycled plastic – they’ve recycled the equivalent weight of 300,000 plastic bottles to date. Batoko keeps its collection small to ensure sustainable production and uses digital printing to minimise waste.
Hackney-based brand Labo Mono makes waterproof jackets using 30 recycled plastic bottles and an eco-friendly water-repellent covering. The jackets have all the technical bits you need for city life, including concealed pockets, breathable fabric, taped seams and pit zips.
Newt London doesn’t believe in workwear, doesn’t believe in saving things for best, and definitely doesn’t believe in throwing away plastic and letting it clog up landfills or pollute the ocean. The brand is encouraging you to wear bold and bright clothes and accessories all the time and they’re helping you do so by making them out of plastic waste, using ECONYL and material made from recycled plastic bottles.
Hairstylists Sarah Jo Palmer and Christopher Deagle, two hairstylists who have set up Re=Comb, a company that produces combs and piks from recycled polypropylene plastic, with the melting and moulding process creating unique marble patterns. The pair are showing that waste can be turned into something functional, beautiful and long lasting, and can ultimately be given new value.
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