Plastic has always been a part of fashion; the most widely used clothing fabric in the world is polyester, and polyester is a type of plastic. Yup, its made from crude oil, and there's nothing biodegraeable or recyclable about it.
The Ellen McArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. So what if, instead of creating new material from a finite resource, we use the masses of single use plastic we already have that are serving no discernable purpose, and simply damaging our delicate ecossystem, to create something useful, and beautiful too?
There's a whole new world of sustainable style where top fashion brands are creating shoes made from recycled bottles and backpacks made from discarded carrier bags. Here, discover a selection of some of the most innovative products on the market that are just as desirable as the rest of your wardrobe, if not more.
Read More Rothy's: Shoes Made Out of Water Bottles
You can now buy the iconic Kånken backpack by FjallRaven made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!
"A special edition of Kånken, made entirely from polyester recycled from eleven plastic bottles. Dyed with SpinDye technology that radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used. An everyday companion with the same genius design as the original, but now reinvented from a recycling/recyclable perspective that saves natural resources. Ready to be carried, travelled with and loved – and in the far and distant future, recycled again."
Watch this video to find out more:
Tights and socks are renowned for being very difficult to recycle becaus ethey usually contain a mix of different synthetic fibres, including nylon and elastane. But eco-friendly fashion brand Swedish Stockings are on a mission to change the industry!
"Each year, two billion pairs of tights are produced, worn a few times and then discarded, helping to make the textile industry the second most polluting industry in the world. Landfills everywhere are full of poorly made and cheap non-biodegradable textiles – and it’s getting worse. Nylon yarn, which is currently used to produce most modern pantyhose, is created from an environmentally harmful petroleum-based manufacturing process that is not only bad for the planet, but also produces pantyhose that don’t last."
"These harmful practices in the fashion industry are all too common. We believe the world needs more innovative and environmentally conscious products to lead the way, and so swedish stockings was launched. A forerunner in sustainably produced nylon stockings, swedish stockings produce beautiful pantyhose from recycled yarn. Our factories engage in sustainable practises including the use of environmentally friendly dyes, post-dyeing water treatment and the use of solar power for much of the energy needed in the manufacturing process."
They even have a brilliant recycling scheme for customers, whereby you can collect 3 or more pairs of old ripped tights from any brand, mail them to the Swedish Stockings recycling centre, and they'll email you a discount code so you can shop online for new, sustainable tights, saving money, and the planet!
Christopher Ræburn has established his eponymous brand with sustainable and intelligent fashion design for a global audience. The REMADE ethos in particular has pioneered the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments, often from the military industry, to create distinctive and functional pieces for all genders.
Seeking the most sustainable materials around the globe, and working with responsible manufacturing partners is key to the Christopher Ræburn brand. Recycling pre-existing materials and harnessing green technologies is fundamental to the production process.
“I think as a designer you have an obligation to consider what you are doing and why; ultimately, we want to make strong, sustainable choices that provide our customers with a completely unique and desirable product”
Bethany Williams' 'breadline' collection has developed an exchange of fresh fruit and vegetables for waste items from the food bank users’ household. They have developed a collection using these waste materials, plus recycled cardboard and ‘Tesco everyday value’ branded organic prints, all donated by Tesco. 30% of profits from any sales are donated to The Vauxhall food bank, continuing the cycle of exchange. Through traditional techniques and working with local craftspeople, they have developed the surface of these waste materials to create handcrafted woven, printed, knitted and embroidered textiles.