The brands transforming plastic waste into eco-friendly apparel…
During Plastic Free July, we’ve been offering our top tips for reducing the amount of plastic in your life (check out our social media pages if you haven’t seen these yet!). And reducing the amount you use is an important step in tackling this problem. But, what about all of the plastic that’s already out there? Over 300 million tons is produced every year, 8 million of which ends up in our oceans. So, there’s a lot of this material floating about (literally), doing more harm than good. And what can we do with it? Well, 4 British clothing companies have found the perfect way to tackle plastic pollution head on and provide you with a sustainable summer wardrobe in the process…
Located on the North West coast of England, Batoko are a small swimwear brand making a big difference. After helping with a local beach clean and seeing how bad the plastic problem was, they set about finding a solution to this and started turning sea trash into sea treasure. This has resulted in swimwear made from recycled plastic waste that would have otherwise gone to landfill and into our oceans. To date, the company has recycled the equivalent weight of 300,000 plastic bottles into swimwear.
Talking of plastic bottles, this next company from London creates reusable bags from just 6 used bottles! Kind Bag was born out of its founder’s own journey to reduce her plastic usage. After realising single-use plastic bags were a huge contributor, Maria read up on what happened to these after use, was (understandably) horrified, and wanted to do something to change this. Kind Bags tackle the problem in two ways – 1) they replace the need for single-use bags altogether and 2) they turn the plastic waste already on this planet into something useful.
Another London-based company, Labo Mono came about after its founder, Ali, got drenched cycling home and began looking for a rain jacket that was both sustainable and suitable for his city lifestyle. He couldn’t find one, so, being a designer by trade, decided to create one himself. His Urban Jacket is made with 30 recycled bottles and is PFC free (PFCs are commonly used to make jackets water repellent, but are harmful to both people and wildlife), instead using BIONIC-FINISH®ECO. And now he’s got the jacket nailed, Ali’s looking to increase their range of sustainable, everyday outerwear further.
Ocean spelt backwards, Naeco is a clothing company with the sea at its heart. As an avid kite surfer and scuba diver, its founder, Zak, saw the increasing amounts of plastic in the ocean first hand, as well as the impact it was having on the animals living there. He wanted to do something to fix this, so created a luxury clothing brand that combines quality with sustainability. Clothing items are made out of recycled polyester collected from beach cleans, ocean cleans and post-consumer waste streams. The company have also teamed up with THERMORE® to produce Ecodown® insulation made from used plastic bottles.
It’s amazing what you can do with a few plastic bottles, right? Sat in landfill, they can take 450 years to decompose, and other plastic materials up to 1000 years, causing a lot of damage in the process. Alternatively, made into clothing items, this plastic waste gets a new lease of life, reduces the need to use virgin plastics and helps prevent it ending up in our oceans. Well done to these UK brands for leading the way in sustainable fashion.
Did you know…at Printwaste, we recycle plastic bottles straight back into new bottles or clothing items? Find out more about plastic recycling here.