Clothing Made from Recycled Plastic

Day 193 – On Day 150, I posted about shoes made from recycled and sustainable material. On Day 181, I wrote about sustainable options for swimwear. Today, I’ll be writing about other types of everyday clothing, shirts, pants, shorts and everything in between.

Here is a list of just a few of the companies creating clothes from recycled plastic.

Last Bottle Clothing is a sustainable apparel company with products made from 100-percent recycled plastic bottles. More importantly, each piece of apparel is also 100-percent “recyclable,” meaning the company closes the loop at the end of the product’s life by taking it back and recycling it yet again. Every piece of Last Bottle Clothing apparel removes an average of 13 plastic bottles from the environment. Next time you are looking to have t-shirts made for an event, be sure to check out Last Bottle Clothing.

Patagonia has been making recycled polyester from post-consumer soda bottles since 1993 making it the first company to turn trash into fleece. Now the company makes its recycled polyester fibers from a blend of soda bottles, manufacturing waste, and worn-out apparel. Recycled polyester is in a wide range of Patagonia’s products from t-shirts to cold weather gear.

Girlfriend Collective uses a variety of recycled material to make their activewear. The compressive leggings and bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex. their leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and our bras are made from 11. The LITE leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn. LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex. Their tees and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fiber made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. Their yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan.

30A’s line of super-soft apparel is made from recycled plastic bottles. They have already prevented 5 million plastic bottles from going into landfills and oceans. All 30A designs are printed in the U.S.A. with eco-friendly water-based inks, and our products are shipped in recycled packing materials. They have helped raise $2.5 million for coastal charities.

Toad & CO uses a variety of eco materials in their casual clothing. They are a 1% for the Planet member and give back to a variety of charities. They also offer reusable packaging. From their California headquarters to their storefronts across the country, they do their part to be good neighbors everywhere you find Toad. You’ll find them volunteering with local non-profits, riding their bikes to work, cleaning up the coastline, and marching for the planet. You’ll find their name signed on petitions to support carbon caps, reduce fossil fuels and keeping public lands public.

American Backcountry uses REPREVE® recyled polysters in their tri-blend tees which use an average of 4 recycled water bottles per shirt, helping significantly in reducing the impact of their products on the Earth. REPREVE is a brand of recycled fibers made from recycled bottles and other products. It uses and emits less greenhouse gas by reducing the need for new petroleum resources. American Backcountry has worked closely with our National Park Partners to increase our product offering and commitment to MADE IN THE USA Garment and Accessories.

RECOVER strives to produce the very best apparel with the most minimal impact on the environment. The materials that they use, which otherwise would have been sent to the landfill, are 100% recycled. From design to production to packaging, their entire process contributes to the environmental impact of a garment and it is the RECOVER Initiative to reduce that impact as much as possible every step of the way. RECOVER is a 1% for the Planet member.

Tentree give back to the earth by planting 10 trees for every item purchased, while using eco-friendly and natural materials such as REPREVE to make their products. Their core values drive them to find the best responsibly sourced materials, and the guarantee of safe and respectful work environments. So, by the time your Tentree product arrives to you, you know that its journey was defined by the smallest environmental footprint, and made proudly by people treated fairly and with dignity.

Supporting companies that are helping the planet is a great way to make a difference.

Tomorrow, a favorite building block is becoming eco-friendly.

Sustainable Swimwear Options

Day 181 – Have you ever given any thought about your bathing suit and if it’s good for the environment? I have not. So, I figured it would be a good time to take a look at a few companies that have given a lot of thought about it.

Here are a few companies to start your research. They all use recycled material in the making of their swimsuits and give back to many amazing causes.

WOMEN

Do Good Swimwear – They are a small, minority women owned/ run swimwear brand that supports eco-friendly and ethical practices, and provides affordable, sustainably and ethically made swimsuits, made to last for seasons to come. Each swimsuit is made out of recycled materials using ocean waste (such as, fish nets, plastic bottles, and old nylons) which is then recycled and turned into soft and comfortable material, perfect for swimsuits. A portion of the profits from each sale goes to ocean conservation efforts (Surfrider Foundation, Coral Gardeners, and Oceana), planting a tree for carbon offsetting (onetreeplanted.org and Trees For the Future ), and towards girls/women’s mental health, education and life skill building (Tahanan Sta. Luisa and Women’s Global Empowerment Fund).

Sensi Graves – They utilize high-quality, UPF 50+, recycled fabrics from Spain, Italy and the US, which are designed to hold up over time. They produce in the USA with quality seamstresses. They use recycled packaging, compostable poly bags and hygienic liners. They’re also a 1% for the Planet member and donate 1% of sales to environmental causes.

Dippin Daisys – They offer women and children options. 95% of their swimsuits are are derived from recycled pre and post consumer nylon. They have a program called RE:PURPOSE which includes them taking swimsuits that have not sold and and tie dye them to give them a new look. They are based in Los Angeles and offer biodegradable packaging. They make donations that support the LGBTQIA+ community.

Patagonia – They have a wide range of outdoor clothing and accessories. However, they also offer men and women swimsuits. Patagonia uses recycled nylon for their swimwear and some suits are made in Fair Trade Certified factories as well. They are a 1% for the Planet member and donate to various environmental groups.

Jessica Rey Swimwear – They offer women and children options. Each garment is made in sweatshop-free factories in Los Angeles. All makers are paid fair, living wages. Their swimsuit fabric is made from 100% regenerated pre and post consumer waste. Each swimsuit helps turn discarded fish nets into durable swimsuits.

MEN

United by Blue – They offer man and women options. They are committed to using sustainable materials, creating a great-fitting, long-lasting product with the exclusive use of materials that are environmentally and ethically sourced. They are a B-Corporation. For every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. 

The Tropics – The Tropics produces men’s swim trunks using material made from recycled plastic bottles and also hosts monthly beach clean-ups in Miami, where the brand is based. They are also a proud 1% for the Planet member. 

Fair Harbor – They offer men and boy options. They make all of their signature beachwear from upcycled plastic bottles, for versatile comfort. They only work with ethical factories, which they visit regularly in-person.

prAna – They’re made with high performance recycled polyester spandex and are UPF 50+ rated. prAna is a longtime advocate of fair trade and sustainability. They’re a proud member of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps, which means they’re part of a collective group of like-minded companies committed to measuring, planning, and reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sharing their progress annually.

CHILDREN

Seasalt Kids – Their suits are made with recycled polyester and nylon fibers that were regenerated from post-consumer recycled materials, including plastic bottles and fishing nets salvaged from the ocean. They reduce the amount of waste in their production by eliminating unnecessary trims and upcycling fabric scraps into products, like scrunchies. They also package their product in compostable material. They are a 1% for Planet member.

Get out and enjoy the beach and feel good that you are wearing a suit that is helping keep our waterways clean.

Tomorrow, using the month of July to remove plastic from our lives.

Clothes, Part 3: Recycling when unfit for donation

Day 61 – You will have clothes with holes and stains and are just not acceptable for donation. What do you do then? I, like many others thought the trash was the only choice. Thankfully, there are a few options to keep those clothes out of the landfill.

Chicago Textile Recycling – Chicago Textile Recycling provides textile recycling outlets and fundraising opportunities for area organizations, businesses and municipalities. By collecting used clothing, shoes, and household items for reuse and recycling, Chicago Textile Recycling diverts over 2.5 million pounds of waste from area landfills annually. They are located at 250 N. Mannheim Rd. Unit B. Hillside, IL 60162. Click HERE to find s complete list of items they accept.

The North Face Stores – Their Clothes the Loop program encourages people to drop off unwanted clothing and footwear at The North Face Retail and Outlet Stores. Recycle your used apparel and footwear (any condition, any brand) at their stores and earn a $10 reward toward your next purchase of $100 or more at The North Face.

Blue Jeans Go Green – The Blue Jeans Go Green program collects denim (made from cotton) so that it can be recycled back to its natural fiber state and transformed into something new. Click HERE to find participating brands that will give you money or a percentage off your next purchase.

H&M Stores – Their Garment Collecting program has been a hit since 2013. They have recycling boxes in H&M stores across the globe. It works like this: 1. Take any unwanted clothes or textiles, by any brand and in any condition, to one of our stores. 2. Drop your bag of old clothes in our garment collecting box near the register and receive a 15% off coupon to use toward your next purchase.

Patagonia – They will recycle their own brand of clothing. All you have to do is drop it off at any Patagonia store.

So, the next time you come across a stained shirt or sock with holes, think twice before throwing them away. That piece of clothing has another life waiting to be had.

Tomorrow, is all about shoes.

Clothes: Making wise choices

Image borrowed by loveyourclothes.org

Day 59 – According to EPA estimates, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing every year. We are a society that has a love-hate relationship with clothes. We love them one minute and hate them the next. Disposing and purchasing, just to dispose and purchase more. Over the next three days, I’m going to cover how we can love our clothes longer and when the time comes to part with them, how we can make choices to keep them out of the landfill. Today, I’ll cover how making wise choices with our purchases can help prolong the life of our clothing. Tomorrow (Day 60), I’ll discuss the ease of donating unwanted clothes. On Day 61, I’ll cover what to do with clothes that have been well worn and unable to be donated.

Here are ways you can be more Earth friendly with your clothing:

  1. Avoid fast fashion. Fast fashion relates to clothes that are produced fast, purchased fast (without much thought), worn fast and discarded fast. Make sensible decisions and choose clothing that you can see wearing for years to come.
  2. Purchase clothing from companies with sustainable practices and a love for the planet. You just need to look for them. They are out there. Patagonia is one of the more popular clothing companies that puts the planet first. A simple internet search can put you on the right track to finding environmentally friendly clothing companies.
  3. Shop at thrift stores. Not every thrift store is created equal, but there are plenty out there that offer quality clothes for reasonable prices. Sometimes it just takes a visit to check them out. You can also shop thrift stores online. ThredUp is one of the more popular ones.
  4. Welcome hand-me-downs. My son benefits from the hand-me-downs from my three nephews. Suits, dress shoes, shorts and pants are clothing items I never have to purchase. Don’t shy away from the offer to take someone’s hand-me-downs. Not only does it prolong the life of those clothes. but it can save you a great deal of money.
  5. Mend when you can. This one can be tough, especially if you do not sew. However, there are people that do. You might know them and you might have to seek them out. Whatever the case, patching, hemming, or stitching can keep those clothes in the closet and out of the trash.

So, start loving your clothes and realize that they have a purpose and it’s not polluting our planet.

Tomorrow, donating closes is simple and helpful.