Fashion

7 Brands that Use Recycled Materials and Turn Plastic Garbage Into New Products

These international brands are the biggest champions of the ocean.
IMAGE Burberry/Pacsafe
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Plastic pollution has become so severe, people are literally eating, breathing, and drinking plastic: It is in our food, our water, and our air. Last month, scientists found microplastics in rain. The problem has become so pervasive that international brands are devising ways to reduce plastic pollution and prevent it from reaching the oceans. One of the ways they are reducing plastic pollution is by pulling plastic trash from the ocean and turning it into high-quality products. 

Brands that Use Recycled Materials to Make New Products

The fashion industry is known to be one of the biggest contributors to global solid waste. The good news is many brands from the industry not only acknowledge this problem, but also actively apply solutions to fight the problem. The following are some brands that turn plastic garbage into new products. 

Prada

When it comes to ocean plastic pollution, marine biologists are one in saying that fishing nets pose the greatest threat to marine life. For most fishermen, nylon nets are disposable. When the net snags on a piece of coral or rock, the common solution of fishermen is just to cut the net and leave it in the ocean.

Prada Re-Nylon is a project that aims to not only raise awareness about the issue, but also help solve it. The product was launched in June 2019. Each Prada Re-Nylon bag is made from fishing nets that were collected at sea, along with other plastic waste that is recycled, de-polymerized, and transformed into new ECONYL nylon. The nylon is used to construct Prada’s regenerated nylon fabric, which is the primary material used in its Re-Nylon Collection. Prada enlisted the help of fishermen in five continents in collecting the nets, giving them additional income and teaching their communities about sustainability.

Burberry

Photo by Burberry.

Burberry has partnered with Aquafil to create a capsule collection constructed using ECONYL yarn, which is made from 100 percent recycled plastic waste. Among the pieces in the collection is a lightweight classic car coat made from discarded fishing nets, industrial nylon waste, and fabric scraps.

Photo by Burberry.

The pieces in the collection are modern reinventions of the rich heritage of the brand. At present, Burberry is implementing 50 disruptions in its supply chain to ensure a sustainable future for fashion.

Adidas

Adidas is aiming to become one of the world’s leading and biggest companies that divert plastic from the ocean. The company has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, an environmental organization that aims to raise awareness and protect the beauty and fragility of the oceans. The Adidas x Parley line of sneakers are made from 41 percent reclaimed plastics, which is not bad at all, considering the massive customer base of the company with a global reach. Each Adidas x Parley sneaker you buy is equivalent to eliminating 11 repurposed plastic bottles and ocean plastics.

Pacsafe

Pacsafe was founded in 1998 by a group of travelers who thought of protecting what is valuable, like our belongings and our planet, thus creating anti-theft travel gear using sustainable materials and processes. Every Pacsafe ECONYL bag is made from as much as 90 percent plastic waste diverted from oceans and landfills.  

The Pacsafe ECONYL Collection supports Save Philippine Seas, an organization that helps protect the country’s coastal and marine resources through information, communication, education campaigns, and community-based projects. It also works with the World Wide Fund Philippines in championing conservation in areas where biodiversity is most threatened. 

The Pacsafe Metrosafe ECONYL Sling Pack

Photo by Pacsafe.

Patagonia

Since 1993, Patagonia has been using soda bottles, manufacturing waste, worn-out apparel, and other plastic pollution to create a special polyester fiber that it uses to manufacture its range of products, from clothing to bags and outdoor gear.

This year, Patagonia donated 100 percent of all its revenues from its Black Friday sales to non-profit environmental groups. It is also very active in protecting the world’s food sources, helping ensure sustainable practices in harvesting plant and livestock resources.

Sperry

Sperry has collaborated with BIONIC and Waterkeeper Alliance to produce its Sperry BIONIC line, a series of sneakers and boat shoes made from ocean plastics. According to its website, Sperry is a brand that is intimately connected to the water, which is why it is only natural for the brand to initiate a pro-ocean project. The collection represents Sperry’s mission to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean.

Sperry’s BIONIC line uses materials from BIONIC and Waterkeeper Alliance’s ocean plastic recovery facilities. The project helps protect 2.5 million square miles of coastline that spans more than 35 countries.

Timberland

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Proving it's stylish to be eco-conscious.... for 10 years and counting. #Timberland #Earthkeepers

A post shared by Timberland (@timberland) on

Not known to many, Timberland’s boots are partly made from recycled plastic bottles. For many years, Timberland has been quietly recycling plastic trash to turn them into the soles of its footwear.

For over 12 years, the company has diverted more than 270 million plastic bottles away from the oceans. Timberland aims to source 100 percent of the material for its footwear from recycled or organic material.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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