I Love Wearing Plastic Bottles

5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste are estimated to be in the ocean, with 70% of it sinking into the sea, 15% floating in on the ocean’s surface, and 15% ending up on beach shores. Not only that, 8.3 million tons are found in the ocean yearly (condorferries.co.uk).


It’s both crazy and saddening how much plastic waste is being discarded into the sea year after year. However, people all around the world are finding lots of different ways to solve this problem regarding plastic waste in the ocean. One of these ways is turning plastic into articles of clothing.


The process of turning plastic bottles into clothing is not too difficult to accomplish. Ambleoutdoors.com.au gives a list of eight steps that explain how the process works: “Plastic bottles are collected for recycling, caps are removed and bottles are sorted by colour, the bottles are cleaned and sterilised to remove any nasties, the plastic is dried and shredded into small flakes, [the] flakes are melted and extruded (squeezed) into yarn, the yarn is spun into thread, the thread is woven into fabric rolls, [and the] fabric is cut and sewn to create new clothes.” Through these steps, it can be proven that the results are not only saving the oceans but are also sustainable. If we could distribute this practical fabric to bigger clothing companies that don’t make their clothes with recyclable materials, a big difference can be made regarding plastic in the ocean.


There actually are already a few larger clothing companies that are beginning to make their clothes with plastic bottles. One of these big clothing companies is Patagonia. On their website, patagonia.com, they state that “this fall, 69 percent of all [their] materials will be derived from recycled materials,” and how they hope to “use only renewable or recycled materials in [their] products by 2025.” They’re trying to accomplish their goal by partnering with different companies, such as Bureo in Ventura, California, and with scientists to learn more about what exactly is being put into the ocean and how they can take these materials to be made into clothing.


Not only are clothes being made out of plastic bottles, shoes are being made with them too. One of these companies is Veja. Veja has a project called the Veja Project, where, on their website (project.veja-store.com), they state that they not only use plastic bottles for their shoes, but they also use “Brazilian and Peruvian organic cotton […and] Amazonian rubber.” Through Veja, it’s now easier to see how there are so many ways to use plastic bottles in apparel manufacturing.


Seeing how plastic bottles are made into fabric and then used for clothes and shoes, an even bigger difference can be made if there is a way to get these materials to smaller, local clothing companies. Whether it be shipping the clothes and shoes themselves or sending the fabrics for these companies to use, having companies both big and small around the country participating in making and selling clothes made out of plastic materials starts a trend in both fashion and ocean preservation. 


Using plastic bottles to make clothing is one out of the many ways people can help save the oceans from the despair they’re already facing; it helps us wear sustainable clothes, and it helps the ocean heal from decades of damaging plastics.