Tag Archives: fashion

What Is The Future Of Recycled Plastic in Fashion?

Plastic waste
Plastic waste
Source: Wikimedia

Many of us want to be more ecologically conscious in our approach to reducing our carbon footprints. You might choose to buy sustainably sourced food, pick up litter on your jogging sessions – so-called plogging – or even aim to hit the jackpot at a mobile casino on your iPad rather than travel to a bricks and mortar one in a nearby city, for example. Regardless of the environmentally friendly decisions you may make in your daily life, what the world has been waiting for is better ways of reprocessing plastic. So much of it ends up in the ocean because it is not recycled. That which is successfully reprocessed has tended to been used to make low grade packaging which does not have a long onward life.

However, plastics can be recycled in more meaningful ways when they are used in the fashion industry. Can fashion really offer us methods to reuse plastic that will genuinely help to improve the environment for everyone? Read on to find out about some of the novel methods the fashion industry has developed for reprocessing used plastics.

Econyl Yarn

Designer Stella McCartney
Source: mainichi.jp

Nylon is used in the manufacturing processes of all sorts of garments for decades. The trouble is that so much of it has been in single-use products. However, an Italian company named Aquafil has come up with a Nylon-like yarn which can replace it entirely. The first major benefit of this is that no new petrochemicals are needed to make the yarn – it is entirely derived from recycled plastics. What’s even more important is that the material can be recycled once the garment it is in has come to the end of its usable life. In other words, a sustainable yarn that can be recycled and recycled. The material is already in use by swimsuit manufacturers, such as Adidas, Zoggs and Speedo. Econyl was also presented in Stella McCartney’s Summer Collection for 2019.

Smaller Brands Gain An Edge

Kelly Slater's Outerknown label
Source: Magicseaweed.com

Although there is certainly a welcome shift among the big clothing makers and major fashion designers, using recycled plastics in garments remains something that smaller fashion brands can harness to market themselves. Often more adaptable to micro-trends in the industry, smaller operators have often led the way in fashion ecology. This is certainly the case with recycled plastics in clothes.

For instance, Kelly Slater’s Outerknown label is one that may not be a household name around the world. However, it has gained a great deal of praise among ecologists and consumers alike for its use of found plastic waste in its range. Likewise, the ReNew collection for Everlane met with a great many favourable comments when it launched because it made use of water bottles as a source material. Everlane also committed to remove single-use plastics from its supply chain for things like packaging. The line includes puffers, fleeces and parkas, which are all remarkably natural in appearance and feel.

Elsewhere, small fashion brands like Insecta – an otherwise little-known footwear maker from Brazil – has gained notoriety for making new products without leather, using a combination of recycled plastic and rubber instead for its shoes. Patagonia, the outdoor wear brand, has also led the way with the use of recycled plastics in its fleeces. Not only are plastics repurposed by the company, but used garments can be returned to the firm for further recycling.

How Can You Help?

Plastic in the ocean
Source: Flickr

One of the most important ways you can help the world face up to the undoubted challenge of plastics entering the globe’s oceans and ending up in the food chain is to refrain from buying products with single-use plastics in them in the first place. This means no more one-off water bottles and buying vegetables in paper bags, not plastic ones. In addition, you can choose to purchase clothes, which are derived from recycled and recyclable man-made fibres. After all, fashion brands are certainly offering enough choice these days and they will continue to do so as long as the market for recycled plastic in garments makes financial sense. When you have finished with an item of clothing, don’t throw it out but make sure it is offered to a second-hand retailer or a charity shop.

If you are considering buying clothes and want to check out how ethical the brand you are choosing might be, then you can also check quite easily nowadays. Apps like Good On You and DoneGood rate global brands – including fashion ones – on things like their carbon footprints which help you to make an informed decision.

Best Dressed Celebrities At The Grammy Awards 2019

If there’s a Grammy Awards red carpet stereotype, it’s surely the skintight outfits taking the trashy look to its ultimately fabulous conclusion. However, this year’s Grammys saw a wind of change blowing away the skimpy frocks, replacing them with a more modest, reality-based fashion sense which set the tone for the evening. This year’s great music artists took instead to dramatic trains, with long sleeves, neat tailoring and haute couture in abundance.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable red-carpet fashions on show:

Post Malone

Post Malone Grammys
Source: Wikimedia

Eccentric rapper Post Malone instantly caught the eye with his take on the chic country-rock star look. His Western-style waistcoat suit, designed by his stylist Catherine Hahn, draped him in head-to-toe baby pink. Worn with a white undershirt, the leather jacket and pants shone with dozens of sparkling rhinestones, adding a part-cowboy, part-matador vibe. Talking about her inspiration for the look, Cathy explained she spotted a 1980s vintage ladies’ suit in studded leather and knew she’d just found what she wanted for the Grammys night.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga Grammy's 2019
Source: LA Times

An artist who doesn’t know how to disappoint, Lady Gaga made the red carpet her own in a show-stopping strapless Celine by Hedi Slimane metallic dress which included a trademark sculpted accent and a fabulous thigh-high slit. Worn with premium jewellery from Tiffany & Co., Lady Gaga’s outfit perfectly complemented her mood. Sporting that perfect poker face, she has the natural look of a star who loves to watch the spin of the casino roulette wheel.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Grammys 2019
Source: Vogue

For anyone not realising a class act had just climbed on the stage, the 25-second standing ovation Michelle Obama received the moment she began to speak immediately set the record straight. Closely accompanied by Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, the former first lady modelled a glittering sequinned suit in charcoal tones which she wore with a pair of metallic gold sandals. As well as this classy Sachin & Babi jumpsuit, the 55-year-old mother of two dressed up the outfit with a little more glitter provided by some signature earrings and several rings. She finished her speech with: “Is that right ladies?” – the response said it all.

Travis Scott & Kylie Jenner

Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner Grammys 2019
Source: Flickr

Along with Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner took to the red carpet wearing a bold looking pastel-pink pant-suit with cross-over draped sleeves. Something of a break from her usual outfits, this Balmain Haute Couture jumpsuit with its criss-cross top was finished off with wide trousers, a silver belt and elegant full-length gloves (also in pink). Travis, meanwhile, chose a clean “Cactus Jack” Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello suit in a plain black colour.

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith Grammys 2019
Source: Wiki Media

Despite being genuinely surprised when she received the news of her Best New Artist Grammy nomination, British soul singer Jorja Smith from Walsall, England, looked very much at home in her stylish, gold-coloured dress by Balmain. To complete her outfit, the 21-year-old added some tasteful Bvlgari jewellery. As one headline put it: “Wear the gold to get the gold.”

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges
Source: GRAMMY.com

Even though he missed out on a music award this time, Leon Bridges undoubtedly stole the show with his highly individual BODE corduroy suit. The suit was styled in a yellow material, but the visual effect was all about the custom Bridges detail which overlaid the whole outfit. Celebrating his own work as well as his Texas heritage, the Fort Worth R&B artist sported items like a lawman’s star-badge, a pair of horseshoes, the words “Leon” and “Texas”, and a whole lot more besides.

Ella Mai

Ella Mai Grammy's 2019
Source: NewsOK

Looking totally elegant in a stunning sleeveless floor-sweeping gown, British R&B star Ella Mai took to the red carpet wearing a beautiful midnight-blue dress complete with an ultra-stylish lace train. Overcome by her ‘Best Song’ award for her track with DJ Mustard, Ella could only say: “No one has ever seen me in a dress before.”