According to statistical data, Americans discard over 2 million plastic bottles every year while simultaneously throwing out the equivalent of 70 pounds of fabric per American. The two sources of waste combined present major problems for the planet. Several apparel companies have recognized this by integrating designs made from 100 percent plastic into their product lines.
With the future of the planet in question, recycling has become a priority for many. In addition to recycling common household waste, citizens who are concerned about the environment have demonstrated a demand for recycling nearly everything we use.
In particular, plastic recycling has become more prevalent in recent years. This is partly because consumers are more educated on how damaging plastic is to the environment. In turn, they are demanding that manufacturers become more environmentally responsible. It seems that apparel companies are listening and have stepped up to the challenge.
Several apparel companies have begun creating clothing and shoes made entirely of recycled plastic. These items are relatively new to the scene. However, if they catch on, it will be wonderful for the environment if old plastic is turned into something new and useful.
Here are some companies that are using innovative recycling technology to stylishly reduce landfill waste and help the environment:
Founded in 2008, Dirtball Fashion was one of the first apparel companies to make clothing and hats from recycled water bottles. The process begins in the company’s North Carolina factory. There, the bottles are sorted and prepped before being melted down and turned into polyester textile fiber. Following this, the polyester is blended with recycled cotton for a unique end-product made completely from recycled materials.
All of Dirtball Fashion’s products – from t-shirts to socks to hats – are made in the USA. Additionally, the company was the first to develop jeans made from 100 percent recycled content. According to the company’s website, approximately 7 water bottles are used in the production of each t-shirt.
Even more impressive, the company’s Dirt Short is made of up to 25 recycled water bottles. Customers who purchase Dirtball Fashion products are even able to return their worn apparel to the company. That way, they can be used again to make additional recycled articles of clothing. Currently, Dirtball Fashion is working on its Green Jean, which will reportedly contain between eight and 10 recycled water bottles and will come in a variety of different styles.
A Lot To Say
A Lot To Say is concerned about making clothing and apparel from recycled materials. However, the company is also committed to conserving water. When making its clothing, A Lot To Say utilizes a No Water Dye Technology technique. This ensures that each item made is completely free of toxins using a fraction of the water typically used in the textile industry.
This innovative technique is also responsible for the long wear of A Lot To Say items. The company estimates that one of its shirts has a useful life that is six times longer than that of an ordinary t-shirt.
Not only is much of the company’s apparel made from 100 percent recyclable materials, the pieces also feature environmentally-conscious slogans. A Lot To Say donates a portion of profits to several environmentally-conscious campaigns, groups, and organizations. These include the international Green Energy Council, Stand Up to Cancer, and Heal the Bay, to name a few.
Adidas Uncaged Parley
In late 2016, shoe and apparel company Adidas released its Uncaged Parley running shoe. They tout this product as the first shoe made completely from 100 percent recycled plastic.
The idea behind this revolutionary piece of footwear was to take highly-toxic plastic – much of which is currently polluting the world’s oceans – and turn it into high-performance sportswear. Not only will this serve to provide consumers with a sustainable option, but it will also save endangered wildlife and preserve our oceans. The company’s slogan for this initiative is Turn Threats into Threads.
The Adidas Uncaged Parley shoe is made from an upper of 95 percent ocean plastic. The remainder of the shoe is also made from other recycled materials. About 7,000 pairs of the Adidas Uncaged Parley shoe were produced and are currently priced at $220 a pair.
Although only 7,000 pairs were made initially, Adidas has committed to making over 1 million pairs of the Uncaged Parley shoes. This is part of the company’s effort to bring more options to the market for consumers who are environmentally- and fashion-conscious.
These are just three of the apparel companies working diligently to come up with new and innovative products that not only make a style statement, but also do their part to protect the environment. As environmental awareness increases, there is likely to be an increased demand fro completely sustainable products. From common household products, to zero emissions vehicles, consumers are putting more pressure on manufacturers to fight against environmental damage.