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Down with the plastic soup: fashion brands using recycled plastics

By Marjorie van Elven


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Last week, on the opening day of London Fashion Week, the network of nonprofit organizations Friends of the Earth urged fashion companies to do more to tackle plastic pollution, as the fashion industry is "a significant contribution" to the problem. Luckily, some brands are already manufacturing clothing, shoes and apparel from plastic waste. Last month, sportswear giant Adidas announced its decision to only use recycled plastics in its shoes and apparel by 2024. Here are five other companies taking steps to combat plastic pollution.


Californian surfwear brand O'Neill has a collection called O'Neill Blue, which is developed in partnership with non-profit organization Parley for the Oceans. The pieces are made from plastic bottles and fishnets retrieved from the ocean by the organization. “We’re the first surf brand and the third apparel brand to work with Parley”, said Kees Scholten, O’Neill’s European Sales Director, in an interview to FashionUnited. 20 percent of the materials collected from the ocean can be used to make clothing items, the rest is recycled. O’Neill has also teamed up with other sustainable companies such as Bionic, Econyl and Repreve to make eco-friendly yarn for its T-shirts, leggings and sport bras.

Stella McCartney

Sustainability is at the core of Stella McCartney’s brand identity from the very beginning. Also a partner of Parley for the Oceans, Stella McCartney has recently launched a line of accessories made from bottles, fishnets and other plastic waste found in the ocean. The British designer is also known for her use of other recycled materials in her creations.

G-Star Raw

In 2014, Dutch denim label G-star Raw launched a collection in partnership with American musician Pharrell Williams, who is one of the co-founders of Bionic Yarn, a company whose purpose is to “create technologically advanced materials from recovered plastic pollution found in marine and coastal environments”. Williams would later acquire a significant stake in G-Star Raw, which led the label to feature Bionic Yarn’s raw materials in all of its collections.

Name It

European kidswear brand Name It uses recycled plastic bottles to make its sweaters, pants and coats since 2009. This year’s collection was entirely made of recycled polyester.


Like Stella McCartney, outdoor label Patagonia is best known for its defense of sustainable fashion. The company launched in 1994, with a fleece jacket made of recycled plastic bottles. Today, recycled polyester is present in many more items in their collections, including jackets, boardshorts and undershirts.

Based on an article previously published at FashionUnited Holland by Caytlin Terra.

Photo: courtesy of O’Neill

Bionic Yarn
G Star Raw
plastic soup
Stella McCartney