As Dame Vivienne Westwood reminded us earlier this week during her outlandish menswear show, we need to buy less clothing, and make better choices when we do.
Not only does this mean opting to buy from brands that make high-quality and ethical fashion, but also those, despite incurring extra costs to do so, ensure they are sourcing materials sustainably.
One such brand is Sundried, the activewear experts long heralded for their dedication to environmental causes. Now, they’ve gone one step further by inventing a new range of T-shirts made entirely by using recycled plastic bottles and old coffee grounds.
“The process is fascinating and very clever,” Sundried founder Daniel Puddick tells Shevolution UK.
“The plastic is shredded and heated to 270 degrees and melted down. The shreds are reheated and melted into a rough straw which is spun by a machine into cloth.”
The used coffee grounds are used to make a residue to bind the plastic into yarn. Cleverly, coffee possesses the natural property of blocking odour and harmful UV rays, adding a technical quality to the material created.
On why it’s so important that fashion starts adapting its model to embrace the use of sustainable materials, Puddick points out that 275,000 tonnes of plastic is used and thrown away in the UK every year.
“That’s about 15 million bottles per day,” he said. “Plastic does not biodegrade, and plastic items that were thrown away 60-70 years ago are still being washed up on our shores. Plastic is not a sustainable material and is contributing to pollution on our planet. By recycling this material, we are making use of something that will otherwise just stay in the ecosystem potentially causing harm to animals and plants.”
Certainly, as sea levels rise and temperatures soar, more and more of us are adopting ethical lifestyle practises. But in an industry like fashion – the sartorial cash cow famed for its excess often at the behest of the planet – will using recycled materials like this ever catch on?
“In 2017, more people than ever are becoming conscious about the ethics of their consumption, with the number of vegans in the UK rising by a whopping 360% over the last decade,” Puddick concludes.
“We hope that using recycled materials in fashion becomes the next big trend and perhaps eventually, the norm.”
The Sundried Grivola 2.0 Women’s Top, as worn by the model at the top of this article, is available to buy on the website now at £50. A men’s version is also available for £40.
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