Fashion untitled

Published on January 16th, 2014 | by Derek Markham

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Sustainable Clothing from Recycled Plastic Water Bottles

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We love t-shirts. We get them free as swag at events, we buy them to support causes, and we get them as gifts. Even if you wear a button down shirt for work, chances are you’ve got a drawer full of them (I’ve got several), and most of them are not sustainable clothing by any stretch of the imagination. Conventional cotton is one of the fiber crops that takes the most off-farm inputs, from water to fertilizer to pesticides, and even organically grown and alternative fibers are only a little greener in terms of environmental impact.

So it’s high time that we rethink the ubiquitous t-shirt, this time as a sustainable clothing item, and to that end, a team of young entrepreneurs is launching a line of t-shirts made from recycled fibers, including old plastic water bottles.

The I Recycle Project, which is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter, is making comfortable and stylish t-shirts made in the USA from Repreve:

“Repreve® is a recycled fiber that contains recycled materials—including post industrial plastics and used plastic bottles (The P.E.T bottles labeled with “1”). We use Repreve® because Repreve’s® recycled fibers are “first quality”, so they look good, and feel soft and comfortable. They’re also certifiably sustainable.”

These t-shirts include a prominent message, so you can “Wear the change you want to see in society”

Why are we doing this?

Because the decisions we make everyday as active members of the economy have an impact beyond our comprehension. We buy without thinking where things come from or what message they promote.

We make shirts because a shirt is an effective medium to express an ideal. A flag that you wear; a way to speak your mind without saying a word.

Here’s a quick overview of how plastic water bottles get recycled into Repreve fiber:

If you can get behind this sustainable clothing project and want to wear your values on your chest, backers at the $32 level will be the first to receive a t-shirt from the I Recycle Project.





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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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