Photo courtesy of AP Images
Emma Watson at the 2016 Met Gala, wearing designer dress made from recycled bottles by Calvin Klein
By Alexia Mersola
Recycled clothing is becoming the new fashion craze of 2017. The average American alone throws away about 65 pounds of clothing per year, and along with other textiles that get tossed, like sheets and bedding, the total comes out to 14.3 million tones of textile waste per year. That accounts for almost 6% of all municipal.0
Green clothing refers to fabrics that are obtained from sustainable materials like hemp, bamboo and recycled plastic. 86% of last water bottles used in the U.S. are dumped into landfills. To put these numbers into perspective, around 60 million water bottles are used daily in the U.S. alone which means approximately 18,834,000,000 are being dumped each year and each water bottle can take up to 700 years to perish.
The alarming rate at which the numbers of used plastic bottles are increasing in the landfills pose high risk to the environment. Not only entrepreneurs but fashion designers are also coming forward to join their hands in supporting the environment. It was noteworthy to see nine World Cup teams wearing T-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. Moreover, the U.S. and the Brazilian teams entire outfit were made from plastic bottles alone. Even celebrities are catching on to this new and sustainable trend, Emma Watson, who is known for her sustainable fashion looks, along with fashion designers like Calvin Klein have worked together to create a jaw dropping red carpet look using plastic bottles alone.
So just how are these Green clothes made?
It is difficult to imagine how plastic bottles are transformed into fabrics. With the help of advanced technology, here is a process that can convert plastic bottles into fabrics. First of all the plastic bottles are collected, compressed, packed into bales and shipped to the processing factory. Then, the plastic bottles are chipped and melted into white round balls.
These balls are again crushed and spun through shower like nozzle that results into viscose yarn. These yarns are used to weave fabrics and finally end up into a trendy piece of clothing. This process also consumes 30% less energy than garments which are made from conventionally manufactured polyester.
Recycled bottles are used for various purposes. One such use of this recycled material is spinning it into thin fibers, which are used to make clothing such as T-shirts, jackets, shirts and garments for exercise usually made from polyester blends. Soft fleece are made from these bottles which are used for hats, blankets and jacket linings. There are brands that make warm, comfortable, weather resilient and long-lasting clothing with recycled plastic bottles and they are relatively cheap and geared towards college students. Moreover, making clothes from recycled plastic bottles has many benefits such as it reduces the dependency on foreign oil.
The fashion world has embraced the concept of recycled clothing from plastic bottles. Hence, it is common to find recycled plastic garments in stores anywhere in the world. As our environment is at risk and the world is becoming more eco-conscious, one can see a rise in the usage of recycled plastic fabrics for daily needs.