Outdoor apparel brand The North Face has recognised the potential of recycled plastic and is using the material as an environmentally friendly alternative to down.
One of The North Face’s most successful product lines – the award-winning ThermoBall jacket, which has a down filling – is now being relaunched as the environmentally friendly ThermoBall Eco line. The jacket has the same features as the original; it is water-repellent, warming and lightweight. However, the new edition differs in the materials used – the Eco line is made from recycled polyester fabric, with insulation made from recycled plastic bottles.
Plastic is one of the biggest environmental pollutants, and threatens wildlife in water and on land. Like The North Face, many companies are beginning to take the problem of plastic pollution seriously and find new uses for it. PET can be reintroduced into the value chain through its use in the clothing industry, making it an attractive way to use unwanted polluters. In addition, recycled plastic is often a suitable substitute for animal-derived materials.
Plastic is becoming a trend in the fashion industry
Other companies are also notable for their new approaches to recycled plastic; Adidas, for example, has created a practical sneaker made of plastic recovered from the ocean. The shoe is completely vegan, and sold out very quickly when it was launched.
New design labels in particular are increasingly relying on recycled materials. Designer Lidia Jovanovska from L&E London, for example, designs luxury bags made from recycled vegan leather alternatives.
The British luxury fashion company Mulberry, in collaboration with the Bottle Top Foundation, has launched a line of handbags made from recycled lids. Unfortunately, the bag is also partly made from leather, but the product shows that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the high-end sector, and that there is a willingness to make a statement with recycled plastic.
This article is by Mirjam Walser – co-founder of Faloa, the online shop for vegan, sustainable and fair fashion. (Launch February 2019)