This July, millions of people will join the 'Plastic Free July' campaign. People can accept the challenge individually by refusing to use single-use plastic products. The 'Plastic Free July' campaign was led by the Plastic Free Foundation, created in 2017 as an independent non-profit organization. Not only the general population, but the fashion industry also has come forward in supporting the campaign and has made astonishing innovations in recycling plastic wastes to clothes.
Millions of tons of plastic waste are disposed off annually in landfills across the world. It is essential to recognize that many textile companies have focused on reusing this material for other uses.
Every day millions of garments are manufactured and purchased worldwide. Most of these clothes are made in ways that lead to more carbon footprint than required. Furthermore, making clothes from new materials always adds to the problem of another ‘something’ that would later either end up in a landfill and decompose emitting greenhouse gases or just choke up the planet. Therefore, a brilliant solution to this problem was to put the non-decomposable everlasting plastic that is already polluting our planet to good use. Turn them into fabrics!
How is plastic transformed into clothing?
Other than the single-use plastic, most other plastics are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which can be processed with impurity filtering, cleaning and polymerization treatments. It is then converted into good quality polyamide, polyester fiber and yarn. As a consequence, water bottles or soda bottles can serve as raw materials in making clothing fabrics.
This technique not only provides excellent potential for obtaining cold-fill material in anoraks, raincoats, fleeces, vests or jumpers, but also works great for making other garments such as shirts, T-shirts, jeans, shoes or socks; accessories such as bags or backpacks; or seats, roofs and carpets in motor vehicles. The possibilities are infinite and are only limited by our imagination.
The synthetic fibers created from recycled plastic guarantee quality and durability at least equivalent to natural fibers such as wool, linen, silk or cotton. The recycled plastic fabrics are created in a way to be breathable, absorbent and quick dry. These are now being used to make workout accessories and clothes or swimwear. Resources on our planet are limited and we all have to be aware of it. It is expected that companies and institutions dedicate more resources towards research to continue improving the techniques of converting plastic waste into everyday products such as clothing.
Fashion Industry is interested in this Transformation
Several brands are already using nylon made from recycled plastics to eliminate plastic from the oceans and reduce the consumption of raw and virgin materials when manufacturing their products. In fact, there are already companies specialized in the sale of clothing made from existing plastic waste at the bottom of the ocean, old tires or discarded fishing nets.
In collaboration with the environmental organization, Parley for the Oceans, Adidas produced 5 million pairs of shoes using recycled marine plastic in 2018. For 2019, the sports brand has decided to produce 11 million pairs of shoes from recycled plastic.
Roxy launched its second Pop Surf collection, consisting of swimwear and surfing suits. The wetsuits are made with neoprene made from 100% limestone and polyester made from recycled plastic bottles.
After bidding farewell to fur, Prada announced in June 2019 that it was embarking on making bags using nylon-based waste recovered from the oceans.
VANYYA, with much appreciation for such initiatives, supports such adoption of recycling as a priority technique in the production of goods. Such recycling should not be limited to a few, but should rather become a priority for everyone. Having taken part in the Plastic Free July campaign, we believe that initiatives on such wonderful recycling processes will have an everlasting impact on building a plastic free world for future generations.