Waste2Wear, the Dutch company that makes fabrics out of recycled plastic bottles, has presented the world’s first collection of recycled ocean plastic fabrics that is fully traceable using blockchain technology at the international textile fair Première Vision, taking place from 17th to 19th September in Paris. By implementing blockchain technology, Waste2Wear wants to bring more transparency to the supply chain of recycled textiles.
“The blockchain documents and records the journey of plastic waste, step-by-step, to become a finished textile product. This allows Waste2Wear to track recycled materials all the way back to their source, from the fishermen and pickers who collected the plastic up to the final product, and all steps in between. It enables the company to provide their customers with complete transparency. Leaving no doubt that all fabrics and textile products are made out of post-consumer plastic waste collected from oceans, and saved from ending up on landfill,” explained Waste2Wear in a press release on Monday.
The plastic used for Waste2Wear’s Ocean Fabrics comes from the water and coastal areas of China where many fishermen have lost their jobs due to fishing bans. Together with an NGO, Waste2Wear started a collaboration with the local government to let these former fishermen take plastic out of the ocean and pay them for their effort. The result is the Waste2Wear Ocean Plastic Project that helps the environment while also improving the livelihood of fishermen and waste collectors. Currently, more than 30 tons of waste from the ocean gets collected every month.
Waste2Wear then makes high quality fabrics out of the recycled plastic that often also contains natural fibers. The 100 percent recycled polyester fabrics are made from very high twisted filament yarns with a high number of fibers, increasing their breathability and making them very comfortable to wear. The company has even created special sportswear fabrics that have eight times better moisture transport and breathability than the Adidas Standard. Waste2Wear’s fabrics are currently used for a variety of products, from sportswear and workwear to fashion and fashion basics and even school uniforms and bags.
“The fact that we live in a disposable age doesn’t mean the plastics we discard just disappear from our environment. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. That’s why we find it important that the fabrics and textile products we make are from post-consumer plastic that is really collected from oceans and landfills,” states Waste2Wear on their website.
Waste2Wear was founded in 2007 by Dutch textile engineer Monique Maissan and currently operates in nine countries worldwide, employing more than 80 people. The company focuses on innovation to challenge the industry and bring positive environmental impact and social change through circular economy solutions. Partnerships with, for example, the Jane Goodall Institute and National Geographic address environmental pollution. Waste2Weave is a social programme that furthers the empowerment of women.