Little do people know, but every piece of plastic ever made is reported to still exist to this day. To make matters even worse, there is a shocking amount of plastic waste floating around in the world’s oceans, actually around eight million metric tonnes. If we continue throwing plastic into the oceans, it’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more of it then fish in the sea.
That’s a really massive problem, but thankfully many world-renowned fashion designers have come up with the idea of using recycled plastic to make stunning clothing. Believe it or not, the future of fashion is going totally green and innovative. Sewing sustainable clothes and helping save the planet is a trend that is going to conquer all runways, and here is how it all functions.
Plastic lives forever
Once manufactured, plastic materials don’t fade off or get easily ruined (if not at all). The fact that plastic is not biodegradable represents a vast negative issue since it stays in the oceans, seas, and soil long after people dispose of it. The synthetic plastic which is still commonly used is not an utterly wise solution, because synthetic materials derived from plastic such as nylon, polyester, and lycra won’t degrade.
Therefore, when these synthetic fibers are washed, tiny amounts of microplastics breaks off and with time spills plastic participles into oceans. Many fashion designers, concerned about making the planet a healthier and unpolluted place, have started using recycled plastic as a clothing material. Meaning, they are using, for instance, collected, chipped, and melted plastic bottles found in the oceans or round other thrown out places and turning them into clothes.
From plastic bottles to textiles
Even though only a small portion of plastic is recycled, that still represents a huge breakthrough in the fashion industry. Since more and more fashion companies are striving to help the planet, the demand for turning plastic waste into clothes and accessories has become a booming trend. The process is rather simple.
First, the bottles are broken down into small flakes, then those flakes are melted into tiny pellets and then they are melted again, filtered and spun into threads. Later, those threads can be used for a range of textiles, from swimwear to running socks, it all depends on the designers.
The eco-friendly sportswear
Amongst many ethical fashion brands that have given this immortal waste a new life, fashion companies who are focused on designing mainly sportswear have had the most success with the customers. Even though it doesn’t sound quite appealing, but creating active-wear out of trash can look and feel great and original.
For instance, Girlfriend Collective company’s recycled polyester is made from plastic bottles found in Taiwan, and their ethically produced sports bras and leggings are extremely popular with the young population. Then, Rockay is another eco-friendly company that produces the best running products with 100% traceability on the plastic recovered from the oceans. What is more, you are able to get absolutely eco-friendly running socks without compromising on the quality.
Funky bags and accessories
There are still people doubtful about wearing something made out of plastic bottles, unaware that nylon and polyester are more harmful then recycled plastic. Therefore, there is a significant number of fashion companies focused on producing solely bags and accessories made out of recycled waste.
The Spanish brand Lefik has been producing waterproof wash bags since 2012 using recycled PET bottles. It is great for traveling because it has four separable removable compartments which are great if you only want to use one part of it. Another innovative company with sustainability on its mind, Kathmandu, produces backpacks with a solid proportion of responsible materials. Basically, all people who love the outdoors want to live a light and save footprint on the earth will purchase these eco-friendly accessories.
The sustainable runway fashion
There are people who are ready to pay more to buy sustainable, and if more fashion brands incorporate recycled plastic into their astonishing designs, it will eventually cost less to turn plastic into usable thread. That is why many designers and brands have emerged to the runways to show off their new sustainable fashion items. Dresses, pants, swimsuits, and footwear made out of wool-like fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles were shown in London’s fashion show and the audience was amazed.
Critics couldn’t even notice the difference in textiles, and the models reported the fashion clothes being rather comfortable and soft to the skin. As more fashion designers are coming forward to support the environment, the future of fashion is heading towards becoming more greener and sustainable. With the help of advanced technology and environmentally-conscious manufacturers, we will be a step closer into making the world a healthier place to live in.
Related posts: Podcast with Hamilton Perkins on Creating a Sustainable Fashion Brand From Recycled Materials
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Ian Lewis is a father, writer, and a fitness nut. He’s passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting all kinds of heavy objects. His favorite quote: “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” He has contributed to PlentyOfFish, BioFriendlyPlanet, RaiseVegan, and many other online magazines.