Textiles, Fashion, Sports and Footwear

Plastic Strategy of Fashion Brands

Some fashion brands are making a sustainability effort with regard to plastics.

8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans each year and we use 1 million plastic bags per minute. Of those 8 million tons, 236,000 tons are micro-plastics.

Recycled plastics usually ends up in the textile industry and Polyester, acrylic and nylon make up about 60% of our clothes.

Each time we wash clothes, micro-plastics fibres come off of them and make their way to the sewage system and into the ocean.

Plastic Strategy Options for Fashion Brands

  • developing and using biodegradable fibres that can biodegrade fast;
  • stop using virgin plastics (virgin plastic-free clothes), only using recycled plastics.
  • using ocean plastics (plastic waste collected from the oceans);
  • using bio-based plastics.

Some Examples

  • Outerknown

A jeans line produced from organic cotton. Factory workers recycle 98% of water used in the production and air dry 85% of the jeans to conserve energy.

  • Everlane

A line of everyday-wear made from recycled (non-virgin) plastic. They also committed to ending the use of virgin plastic throughout their entire production process within the next three years.

  • Adidas and Parley for the Oceans

Their goal is to stop virgin plastic from entering the ocean by eliminating things like plastic bags and microbeads.

  • Solgaard

A suitcase made from recycled plastics and a line of eco-friendly backpacks and duffels made from 5 lbs of up-cycled plastic waste taken from the oceans.

  • Bureo

Bureo is a textile company that gathers fishing nets and recycles them for companies looking to create functional, sustainable products.

  • Pangaia

A collective of scientists and tech experts that connect with designers to create ethical fashion using next-generation bio-materials and sustainable fabrics. They also use TIPA packaging, a bio-based plastic alternative that fully decomposes within 24 weeks in a compost bin.

  • Stella McCartney

She partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create a backpack made from recycled plastic.

  • Maggie Marilyn

She uses an ethical packaging made from root starch (cassava), vegetable oil, and a vegetable polymer created by Complast. It can be composted or disposed of in a landfill, and will completely biodegrade.

  • Londré

A line primarily made of recycle plastic bottles. They use a certified eco-friendly fiber called chitosante made of crushed shells (a byproduct of the shellfish industry). Chitosante is known for its anti-bacterial and odor resistant properties.

  • Patagonia

Patagonia uses recycled polyester and recycled nylon; and shedding microfibers from their materials and design methods and working with manufacturers to reduce the amount of micro-plastics emitted in its filtering processes (including agitation techniques).

CLOSING REMARKS

  • Great initiatives from these fashion brands. It gives us an insights of where the mainstream fashion and textiles companies will move towards in the future.
  • Pangaia, Maggie Marilyn and Londré are the only ones replacing fossil-plastic with bio-based materials.

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