When a plastic bottle is recycled, it has the potential to be used in many different ways. Often times these bottles are used to create other plastic products like plastic bags, detergent bottles, outdoor fencing and office equipment. Apparel company, Brooklyn Industries has added a wearable item to this product list: t-shirts.
When wearing a t-shirt in the Brooklyn Industries store, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the shirt made out of plastic bottles and the one made out of cotton. To create the recycled polyester t-shirt fabric, Brooklyn Industries teamed up with Rethink Fabrics, a Seattle based company who specializes in creating sustainable textiles. According to Rethink, it takes 14 clear plastic bottles to make one men’s shirt and 12 to make a women’s shirt. The fabric and thread used are 100% polyester, a fabric chemically similar to plastic, which allows all parts of the t-shirt to be made of recycled materials.
In addition to their partnership with Brooklyn Industries, Rethink has participated in apparel and accessories projects for companies all over the globe. Some of their previous projects include, t-shirts and bags for Evian water, soccer uniforms for Hummel, high fashion pieces for Denmark fashion brand b Conzepts and shirts for the Reverb college campus tour with Wiz Khalifa.
The only issue with these garments is that the material made is non-biodegradable. To fix this problem, Rethink Fabrics is already working on program that will collect the unused graphic t-shirts and recycle them into new fabric.
Brooklyn Industries isn’t the first company to recycle bottles in this way. Another apparel company that turns plastic into product is Patagonia. Since 1993, they have been using recycled soda bottles to create their fleece jackets. These fleece designs have saved over 86 million soda bottles. In the home goods industry, Shaw Floors has created a line of carpeting called ClearTouch Carpet. Their patent pending line uses recycled plastic to create a soft polyester yarn for this green flooring option. The final company we have to share, is for our four legged friends – our pets. P.L.A.Y., a company who creates designer beds for pets, productively uses plastic by stuffing their beds with Planet Fill™. This fiberfill stuffing is safe for animals and gives a green option for the pampered pooch.
For additional information on any of the companies mentioned check out their links below and continue to do your part by recycling those plastic bottles!