A growing focus on the harmful environmental impact of “fast fashion” has left the fashion industry scrambling for a re-brand. Thankfully for the environment, that re-brand has consumers re-evaluating their consumption habits. After all, since the year 2000,
- Clothing production has doubled, but the average number of wears has declined by 36%
- Fast fashion produced more CO2 than aviation and shipping combined
- 20% of global wastewater comes from textile dying
- 92 million tons of clothes-related waste are discarded every year. That’s enough to fill a garbage truck full every second
- The fashion industry has created half a million tons of microplastic annually
- $500 billion was lost annually due to a lack of recycling and reusing
Much of the burden of slowing down fast fashion and healing the planet falls on consumers. Supply depends on demand, after all, and changing consumption habits could slow or even arrest the pace at which fast fashion is spreading. The best way to transform consumption in an industry causing such vast environmental destruction is to shop conscientiously.
How Do Manufacturers Recycled Plastic Products
Like most fabrics, those made from recycled plastics go through a complete transformation from raw material to threads and bolts. However, recycled synthetics don't use cotton or linseeds; they use post-consumer water bottles, fishing nets, and even old tires. Such recycled plastics and rubbers are thoroughly washed to medical-grade cleanliness, then shredded and melted into pellets. Those pellets are extruded (heated and stretched) and spun into fibers. That plastic “thread” is then used to weave synthetic cloth, just like other synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, microfiber, spandex, etc.) are created.
Brands Using Recycled Plastic Products in Fashion
One significant way brands have pivoted to more environmentally friendly manufacturing is by incorporating recycled plastic into their products. The following are a few of the many environmentally-minded brands that have committed to sustainability.
The Godfather of sustainable commercial fashion, Patagonia has been making recycled polyester from soda bottles since 1993. Furthermore, as far back as 1985, Patagonia pledged 1% of its sales to preserve natural environments. This year, 69% of their products were made with 100% recycled materials. In one year, Patagonia avoids the emission of approximately 20,000 tons of CO2 by using recycled post-consumer content. Finally, Patagonia guarantees every item of clothing they make, ensuring that clothes are worn for many years, removing the need for further fashion consumption.
“In order to ensure 100 percent transparency and provide the highest levels of quality, our team manages the full process from waste collection to recycling technologies, manufacture, design, and retail.” - Ecoalf.com
This Spanish celebrity-fave fashion brand highlights its transparency and encourages other brands to do the same. Committed to equality and honesty, Ecoalf has transformed the industry by sharing technology and methods freely within the sector to encourage fashion to take an environmentally sustainable turn.
By turning old water bottles and fishing nets into yoga pants and simple tees, Girlfriend Collective has become the ultimate brand for environmentally-minded people across the US. Made with recycled synthetic materials and offering inclusive sizing, its clothes are high-quality self-proclaimed “slow fashion.” In addition, Girlfriend Collective recycles returned and damaged clothes into new pieces, avoiding the “return waste” rampant in fast fashion markets. To entice customers to recycle, the brand also pays a $15 online credit for customers who return their worn-out, stained, used products for recycling.
Manufacturing with Recycled Plastic Products to
Save the Earth
Manufacturers like Becher Plastic know that recycling plastic products is crucial to minimizing our collective carbon footprint. Our experts know which recycled products can be extruded into resins and the best uses for those resins. Contact Becher Plastics now to speak to an expert about how to recycle your plastics today to help build a better world for tomorrow.