Even though most communities now offer curbside recycling programs, we still have a long way to go in the fight against plastic waste. The average person will throw away 600 times his or her body weight in plastic over the course of a lifetime, and collectively, the world throws away enough plastic to travel the circumference of the globe four times!
But the good news is that creative people are coming up with new ways to put some of that plastic waste to use before it hits the landfill, and at the last Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in Amsterdam last month, one of these new ways was showcased on the catwalk.
It was there that Waste2Wear debuted a line of couture fashions made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. The fashions were every bit as stylish as the other looks on the runway, but each dress helped to keep at least 30 bottles out of landfills. The collection was a collaboration between fashion designer Monique Maissan and Waste2Wear's founder Monique Collignon. The pair developed everything from evening gowns to work dresses to wedding dresses, all made from plastic.
So how is it done?
Well, Waste2Wear starts by shredding bottles into flakes that are then made into pellets. From there, the pellets are made into yarns by machines. Then, sustainable dyes are used to color them, and they are hand loomed into fabrics by women in India as a part of a fair trade workshop program that Waste2Wear has founded called Waste2Weave.
While Waste2Wear's couture fashion collection seems to be the first of its kind, fabrics made out of plastic aren't entirely new. In fact, we've been carrying an example of plastic-derived fabric for a few years. The To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set features cloth travel bags made from RPET derived from plastic waste. You can check them out here.
Take a look at this video of the Waste2Wear collection on the runways and let us know what you think of the designs in the Comments section!