Person standing on ledge holding clear plastic sheet in the wind

Photo credits: Unsplash

Transparency

The sustainable fashion community is host to a number of companies that do some great work trying to make the industry a more honest and socially responsible place. The retraced editorial team wanted to share some of our favorite examples with you! 😃

"Best in Class"is a new blog series where we highlight some exemplary examples of companies implementing a variety of transparency and sustainability initiatives. This week, we wanted to amplify the "Plastic-Free July" Movement! This movement challenges millions around the world to take action against plastic pollution. Calls for the ban of single-use plastics continues to grow, and many industries are being encouraged to use recycled plastics in their operations. In this post we give a shout-out to a few our our favorite brands (in no particular order) that use recycled plastics in their products in cool and innovative ways. (Be sure to check out their videos)

Top 8 Best Use of Recycled Plastic

1. Girlfriend Collective

Almost all synthetic activewear is made from virgin polyester, a.k.a plastic. Girlfriend Collective wants to offer an ethical and sustainable alternative that actually reduces plastic waste. That's why their items are made of 100% post-consumer water bottles. You can watch a video of the recycling here. All the plastic bottles are sourced from Taiwan, which used to be “Garbage Island", where the government has turned things around and recycling has become an impassioned community affair. On each Girlfriend Collective product page you can find a short sustainability report with the number of bottles diverted from landfills, lbs of CO2 prevented and gallons of water saved. And when your items are worn out, you can give them a new life with the ReGirlfriend recycling program.

3 women of different ages and nationalities in colored activewear

Image by Girlfriend Collective

2. Zouri

Vegan shoe brand Zouri was shocked to learn that every year, over 22 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean. That's why the brand started its plastic-free movement. The eco-friendly footwear brand develops its shoes using plastic waste that is transformed into raw material and mixed with natural materials like organic cotton, natural rubber, and innovative Piñatex fibers. Zouri is a Portuguese brand that works with more than 6,000 volunteers from local organizations, NGOs, and schools to pick up the plastic litter from the Portuguese coastline. As a result of its actions, the brand has removed 1 ton of plastic from the Portuguese beaches this year. Check out their awesome video here.

Person wearing dark grey sneakers standing on rock before the sea

Image by Zouri

3. Underprotection

Many lingerie brands work with materials like virgin polyester and elastane or "spandex" - materials that are all synthetically made. Underprotection aims to create underwear that is responsible, sustainably made, and designed for everyday life and wear. Apart from other innovative materials, the Danish lingerie brand works with Oeko-Tex certified recycled polyester, which uses 33% to 53% less en­ergy compared to what’s needed to produce virgin polyester. Underprotection also uses recycled nylon and recycled elastane in its undergarments to re-work other pre-consumer industrial waste. All recycled materials are certified by the works with Oeko-Tex certified Global Recycle Standard.

Woman posing in yellow recycled polyester lingerie

Image by Underprotection

4. MYOMY

Since 2007, The fashion house MYOMY Do Goods has been making fairtrade and sustainable leather bags, designed with a mission to do good. This year, the Dutch social enterprise has launched its new vegan collection MY CIRCLE BAG. The collection was designed with the idea of cleaning up our world in style, and features different size bags made from discarded plastic bottles. The recycled PET bottles are made into a high-quality canvas material, created in collaboration with Waste2Wear®. On MYOMY's website you can see exactly how many plastic bottles were repurposed in the production. You can also scan the Waste2Wear QR-code to see how the fabric was made.

Infographic by Waste2Wear sharing how many recycled plastic bottles were used

Image by MYOMY

5. TET. Swimwear

TET. Swimwear was founded based on a love for the ocean. Founder Lieke van Hulsbergen realized during her travels (which she shares in this video) just how much of an impact waste disposal was having on the planet, and decided to do something about it. Therefore, the brand's primary focus is to effectively tackle debris reduction, particularly the plastic that litters the sea. That's why all its swimwear is crafted from Repreve – an innovative, high-quality performance fabric that's made from plastic waste. The young swimwear brand is fighting ocean pollution in multiple ways. For example, it also hosts multiple beach cleanups in Bali, around Canggu beach. Check out one of their cleanup videos here.

Woman wearing a TET. Swimwear bikini in front of the sea

Image by TET. Swimwear

6. Two Thirds

Two Thirds, whose name refers to the amount of the earth surfaced by the ocean, also uses recycled polyester in its swimwear. But no need to stop there - you can also find recycled polyester in their shirts, too, made recognizable by their embroidered whale logo. Two Third's tees are a blend of soft organic cotton and recycled polyester. The polyester makes the product more long-lasting, meaning that the wearer can get more quality uses out of it - which is great for its sustainability! The blended fabrics also make the t-shirt less prone to shrinking. Looking to reduce plastic yourself? Check out their cute bottles.

Man wearing a Two Thirds shirt in front of cacti

Image by Two Thirds

7. pinqponq

If you've read this article and you find yourself wondering how exactly PET bottles are recycled, German backpack brand pinqponq has you covered! Take a look at this informative page from website, featuring and an easy step-by-step explanation. This Fairwear Foundation brand creates stylish, urban bag designs made of recycled polyester that are practical, PFC free, and vegan. In line with the values of their parent company, FondOf, the brand makes transparency a priority, and their honest and dedicated use of recycled PET bottles is a strong reflection of this. (check out the brand's corporate social responsibility and transparency mission)

Black backpack by pinqponq

Image by pinqponq

8. Bead the Change

Bead the Change is an organization that sells recycled bracelets to help save the environment. The organization encourages people to raise awareness about environmental and humanitarian causes by wearing one of its bracelets. Their Ocean Cleanup bracelets are made from recycled plastic water bottles (for the thread) and recycled glass bottles from Ghana (for the beads). Furthermore, 10% of all proceeds go to, "The Ocean Cleanup", the charity associated with the bracelet. Bead the Change also creates social impact, as all bracelets are handmade in Ghana by local bead-makers artisans. You can watch this video of their bead-making process.

Blue bracelet with the text ''Bead the change for our oceans''

Image by Bead the Change

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