The ethical brand Everlane is working to combat the worlds plastic problem through their “Renew line” which is made up of 3,000,000 plastic bottles; how STUNNING is that? They have also made a commitment to remove all virgin plastic from their supply chain by 2021. What is virgin plastic, you may be asking? Virgin plastic is the resin produced directly from the petrochemical feedstock, such as natural gas or crude oil, which has never been used or processed before. Recycled /post consumer plastic is plastic that has been made, thrown away, cleaned, reprocessed, and made into something new. This diverts it from ending up in the landfill, and allows it to be recycled into something else.
I think it is really easy to assume that both options are clean and safe, but neither are completely sustainable. However, that is a longer post for later. Let’s take a look at the photo below to see how Everlane turns plastic into clothing; SO fascinating!
Look, although recycled plastic is not the only answer to our worldwide waste problem, it certainly is a major step in the right direction. The fact of the matter is, plastic does not decompose. It sits in our landfills, our oceans, and it will stay there for hundreds of years, so the LESS that goes in there is a major accomplishment…but it NEEDS to be ZERO that gets thrown away. We also need to responsibly recycle more. Right now, only 30% of all plastic bottles are recycled. With better waste management systems, this plastic would not end up in the landfill, and there would be more recycled plastic to turn into clothing.
The systems we have in place are not perfect to work with, but these changes that we ARE making are how we will make headway into saving our earth. Below are some of my favorite clothing companies that are using recycled plastics in their products, I encourage you to check them out ( click the name to go directly to the online store) !
1.) Everlane -Coats, sweaters- They only use fair wage factories, and they ship everything plastic free
2.) Timberland – They use recycled plastic to make many of the soles of their shoes
3.) Patagonia– Jackets & sweaters- They also buy back their own clothing and recycle it!
4.) Batoko– They make swimwear ENTIRELY out of recycled plastics!
5.) Ecoalf– A spanish brand the makes outerwear and swimsuits using recycled plastic bottles, fishnets, Word out tires and more!