By Lora O’Brien

A million plastic bottles are purchased across the world every minute of the day, which is pretty shocking. Furthermore, by 2023, this has been predicted to grow by a further 20%. That’s a lot of plastic floating around the planet. This is why it’s so essential that fashion designers utilize plastic that already exists.

Thankfully, many designers are already using plastic bottle textiles to make exciting and innovative eco-conscious items, from fashion to homewares. Helping to repurpose plastics that were already deemed trash, brands are launching collections that repurpose plastic bottles, helping to alleviate the stress it would otherwise have on landfills, our oceans and the planet overall.

If you’re wondering what wonderful ways recycled plastic fabric is being used, then ahead where we’re shining the spotlight on 6 of our favourite uses of recycled plastic fabrics.

Though we’re celebrating brands who are creating new and innovative ways to use recycled plastic, Camira is a brand steeped in experience. So much so, that they’ve been reducing, reusing, and recycling for over 20 years. In 2020, Oceanic launched, its first textile to include marine plastic waste.

The brand is committed to pushing the boundaries when it comes to developing textiles that minimize the impact on the environment while pioneering new and exciting approaches to plastic.

Sure, sneaker brands could easily be considered part of the problem regarding fast fashion. Still, with the future being focused on sustainability, it’s exciting to see established brands being a part of this vision. Adidas’s Parley sneaker range provides wearers with sneakers made from the brand’s signature Primeknit textile, which has been made using recycled ocean plastic.

The sneakers not only look great, but they provide great comfort, too. Striking a balance between functionality and fashion, the brand is helping to take a problem and turning it into a performance.

It’s kind of poetic that this brand is taking ocean trash and transforming it into a beach accessory, closing the loop beautifully. Waterhaul takes abandoned fishing gear and nets, one of the most common and lethal forms of plastic in our ocean, recycling and redesigning this into a raw material. The recycled plastic textiles are then used to make purposeful products, such as sunglasses.

The sustainable, recycled eyewear is made from the strongest form of plastic, making it durable as well as stylish. Not only do the sunglasses meet the demands of ocean exposure and UV protection, they’re also symbolic of our oceans. Made from nets that would last decades in the ocean, you can now purchase sunglasses that will be a lifelong investment.

Vondom is a brand that takes dumped waste plastics and transforms them into home furnishings that will last forever. During the process, they ensure a high standard of quality and exclusivity. Inspired by places and nature, Vondom is committed to sustainability and providing practical yet elegant furniture with natural lines, making the perfect setting in outdoor spaces.

Another brand cleaning up the oceans and giving back simultaneously is Burero. Made up of surfers and environmentalists, they reuse plastic fishing nets via their Net Positiva program which offers fishing net collection locations in a bid to rid the oceans of discarded nets. They then take these nets and repurpose them into cool and trendy skateboards!

What one considers trash another may consider treasure, but Spark is a brand combining the two. Taking the world’s trash and turning it into art, they’re repurposing plastic ocean trash by turning it into brightly coloured solar-powered beach huts.

The huts are being placed in Singapore along the East Coast Park, and will be solar-powered. Displaying extreme flexibility due to being made from high-density plastic, the huts will be placed on top of recycled glass stems so that beach lovers can look out across the ocean.

While we want to tackle the scale of ocean plastic due to its impact on the planet, it’s a huge task due to the sheer volume that exists today. One sure way your brand can help move in the right direction is by stopping it from getting there. Finding sustainable ways to repurpose can change the future.

Another way your brand can help is to focus on your manufacturing process and highlight where materials can be replaced with renewable or recycled materials. Materials, that already exist, so no virgin materials are needed to be made, and which are just waiting for someone to do something with them, giving them a second lease of life.

Look at the bigger picture and consider all elements of the product your brand creates. Everything from the product itself to the packaging used matters and should be a conscious choice.

Not all textiles are made from plastic bottles and fishing nets. If you’re interested in seeing recycled plastic fabrics created from recycled bubble wrap and other industrial packaging waste, reinvented and transformed into a variety of colorful and textured textiles, click here to explore more on Remeant’s textiles page