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Sustainability
8 June 2022

Future-Thinking Brands Making Products From Ocean Plastic

To celebrate World Ocean’s Day, we’re rounding up some environmentally-friendly brands that love finding a new life for discarded plastics found in our waterways.

Fashion has a huge waste problem, and it’s harming our sea life at a rapid rate. So much so that the World Economic Forum noted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. A scary thought to say the least. To help do their bit in saving our oceans from plastic overpopulation, an innovative group of designers and brands have found ways to repurpose plastic bottles, fishing nets and other sea plastics as fabrics and textiles. Save the ocean one shop at a time thanks to these environmentally inclined brands.

Words By Ruby Staley

Girlfriend Collective

Stretch into sustainability.

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Ellie and Quang Dinh, Girlfriend Collective produces high quality and on-trend activewear for the modern eco-conscious mover.

With their entire line responsibly produced, the label utilises fabrics made from recycled water bottles, fishing nets and other plastic waste to create stretchy and comfy performance wear.

From high-performance leggings and longline shorts to supportive bras and unitards, the entire Girlfriend Collective line is available in a range of vivid colourways made possible by using eco-friendly dyes.

Best known for their essential leggings that are not only beautiful in design and functional in practice but are also each made from 25 recycled bottles.

Girlfriend’s fabric creation process begins with all the plastic waste being sorted, chemically cleaned and shredded into pieces. Then, these pieces are shipped to a factory to be transformed into fabric.

In addition to the brand’s bright collection of active staples, Girlfriend Collective also recently launched their new LITE Collection with is a line that utilizes recycled fishing nets.

Because this is a slightly different fabric to the recycled bottles, the difference here is that the LITE pieces are thinner and more breathable – perfect for high-intensity sweat sessions.

Girlfriend Collective Recycled Stretch Shorts, $47.05, Net-a-Porter

Girlfriend Collective
Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

A sea-loving, innovative thinking eco-example.

Well known for being environmentally conscious in just about every aspect of their design, Stella McCartney creates with true intention and purpose to preserve a better future for the industry.

Recently collaborating with social enterprise Parley for the Oceans who are a driving force for halting the destruction of our oceans, the Stella McCartney brand designed and created a limited collection of products.

One of which was the limited-edition backpack design that, when sold, sent proceeds towards the ocean conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd.

Since 2012, each and every Stella McCartney handbag style has been lovingly lined using fabric made from recycled water bottles which are a huge ocean polluter.

Utilising recycled plastic water bottles in this way saves them from ending up in our oceans, poisoning our sea life and littering the ocean floors and turns this waste into something useful and beautiful.

Additionally, the brand favours using recycled polyester and other recycled fabrics where possible throughout their past and future collections.

While all of these environmentally conscious design tactics are great, Stella aims to get rid of plastic bottles and bags altogether, make fashion more circular and utilise only polyester recycled from within the fashion industry by 2025.

Stella McCartney Fringed Printed Quilted Silk Vest, was $3,610 now $2,166, Net-a-Porter

Veja

Cool for the planet.

The French brand notorious for sustainably focused design and production, Veja quickly grew a cult following since its inception in 2006.

Founded by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, the brand takes its name from the Portuguese word meaning “to look” and is a consistent one to look to in the way of innovative product development.

With a myriad of environmental methods and practices in place throughout the brand, Veja’s collection emphasises the importance of global fair trade and ecologically conscious production methods.

Each style is finished with the iconic V logo emblazoned across the sides of the eco-friendly styles and with a wide range of neutral and bright shades on offer that is fit to suit any situation.

Pushing its sustainable agenda even further, the already globally recognised ethical sneaker company recently delved into the world of B-mesh creation.

B-mesh, or bottle mesh, is a breathable fabric made from recycled plastic bottles – those very containers that litter our oceans.

Lightweight and waterproof, there is three bottles worth of plastic recycled to create each of the new sneakers making them some of the most eco-friendly sneakers going around.

Incorporating other ethical materials like organic cotton and rubber sourced directly from farmers who are paid a living wage, Veja’s line is not only positively impactful on our earth but also incredibly sleek and beautiful in design.

Veja Campo Textured-leather Sneakers, $220.24, Net-a-Porter

Veja
Patagonia

Patagonia

Planet saving threads.

Founded in the 70s by a group of climbers and surfers, Patagonia continues today as a pillar in the sustainable clothing realm.

In the business to save the environment one garment at a time, the brand is synonymous with minimalist, functional designs that are kind to our natural resources.

At the heart of Patagonia’s design ethos, each piece is created for movers and shakers who care about the earth and like to feel comfortable while on the move.

Leading the way in ethical outdoor wear, the majority of the brand’s well-made goods are made from eco-friendly materials such as organically grown cotton, hemp, sustainably grazed merino wool, traceable down, and recycled polyester.

With deep respect not only for our natural environment but also for those who create their garments, each Patagonia piece carries a Fair Trade certification to mark the above-average treatment of their workers.

A true pioneer when it comes to sustainable methods, in 1993, Patagonia created fleece made from recycled plastic bottles – only improving on this process since then.

Saving not only plastic bottles from ending up in our waterways, but the brand also runs a repair and reuse program to ensure your garments last a long time and don’t end up littering our environment.

Patagonia Down Sweater, $349.95, The Iconic

Kitx

Fashion-forward and eco-conscious.

Launched by fashion industry veteran Kit Willow, KITX forges a path forward towards the future of sustainable fashion in Australia.

Fuelled by a focus on ethical design and production processes, Kit designs intricate and modern pieces for every day with an environmental conscience.

Creating a space for luxury and sustainability to co-exist in the fashion world, each KUITX piece is lovingly crafted, consciously-sourced and beautifully designed.

Abiding by an ethos to create as little of an environmental impact as humanly possible, the brand boasts unique and modern pieces constructed from consciously-sourced or recycled fabrics.

Created in ethical working conditions, KITX’s existing and new collections showcase an appetite for sustainability that goes beyond greenwashing.

A pioneer in her own right, Kit goes beyond incorporating ethical fabrics and utilising well-paid and treated workers for her designs.

Through her brand, the designer promises to consciously source all of their materials and has begun focusing on upcycling marine litter and discarded polyester where possible.

Keeping the unnecessary waste from our oceans, and creating stunning dresses, shirts and jackets is KITX’s developing philosophy.

KITX The X Skirt, was $395 now $237, The Iconic

Kitx

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