And it won’t break the bank.
Plastic gained popularity back in the ’50s for its cheap cost, versatility, and durability, but this once-attractive durability has become a problem today. Companies are producing more virgin plastic than ever before, churning out millions of plastic products by the second. The catch: this plastic stays on the planet forever.
With certain new movements like “Skip the Straw,” people are trying to become more conscientious in efforts to save the planet. Among the industrial sectors, packaging produces the most unnecessary waste, followed by textiles, and then consumer products.
Online clothing company Everlane has always been a consistent advocate for sustainable fashion. The company has replaced all synthetic fabrics with renewed materials in an effort to ditch virgin plastic and boycott its production. Everlane prides itself on partnering with only ethical factories and sourcing fine materials, in addition to publishing the details of its production and manufacturing. This transparency is the hallmark of the brand, from where the thread comes from to the raw price of the product.
But Everlane didn’t stop there. The new pop-up shop in SoHo showcases some of their newest products: shirts, coats, and everything exterior for winter, all made from plastic water bottles.
Introducing ReNew, Everlane’s “outerwear with an outlook,” the company has made a commitment to remove all plastic from its supply chain by 2021. With over 8 billion tons of plastic on the planet, ReNew strives to make use of what would otherwise be thrown away, and make clothing that can be worn for years to come.
In the pop-up, the company has a station demonstrating exactly how they turn bottle into coat. The plastic bottles arrive at the recycling facility in 926 pound plastic cubes called “bales,” where the labels are removed and sorted by hand. Then, in the grinding room, which is virtually a giant shredder, the plastic is cut into flakes, and then melted down into liquid form. The melted plastic is passed through a sort of strainer to mold and cool it. These small crystals are then sent to a spinning facility, where they become fine thread, which is spun into yarn or knit into sheets of polyester fleece, fabric, or insulation.
Everlane presents a stark difference to other outerwear companies on the rise, namely ever-trending Canada Goose, whose name is ubiquitous in cold climates. Canada Goose’s products should represent anything but warmth, however, because, unlike Everlane, they use the fur of brutally trapped Arctic wolves to line their coats. The company slaughters thousands of geese, fox, and wolves to create their line, unnecessarily impacting the environment with this waste of resources.
There are so many faux fur options available, and as promoted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) the undue suffering of an animal for luxury coats is unethical, shameless, and unjust. This is why, when wearing an Everlane “down” jacket, one doesn’t have to feel guilty for taking the lives of wild creatures, but can maintain with confidence that their purchase is making a positive impact on the environment.
Furthermore, the use of fur or animal products in a jacket is an immensely polluting and energy-consumptive process, associated with high environmental costs that rack up as much as four times the amount as would be produced with a synthetic coat, like the ones sold at Everlane. Fur coats require the bleaching and dying of pelts, from which toxic fumes and hazardous chemicals result in serious health risks. Recent studies in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands have linked toxic substances in fur trims on children fashion wear by several brands, including Canada Goose.
Above all, Everlane’s outwear is warm, moderately priced, and good for the planet. It is one of the most environmentally friendly clothing companies in the industry at the moment, and should be used as an idol for clothing production and design. Ranging from $50 to $150, the beauty of this line also lies in its affordability, making sustainable fashion an attainable practice for all.
The pop-up closes on Nov. 12, but all products from the ReNew line may be purchased online after this date.