How 6 garbage is recycled into fashion items



  • Designers are using the waste to create new portable devices for the purpose of tackling pollution.
  • Plastic waste is turned into bracelets, bobs and even shoes.
  • New items can even be crafted from unexpected items, like mangoes, fire hoses, and zippers.

Here is a transcript of the video.

Méline: The Dutch company Fruitleather collects around 1,500 mangoes every week for processing into vegan leather. To make the leather, a machine pits the mangoes and then crushes the fruit into pulp. Then the pulp is mixed with several additives which transform the mango pulp into a leather-like material. The mixture is poured onto metal baking sheets and smoothed to create a uniform thickness. Then the trays pass through a dehydrator overnight. Then the sheets go to a leather finishing plant to be coated with a protective glaze. The factory uses the same process as for animal leather. Workers measure the thickness of each sheet, then mix resins to make the coating, which forms a small film on top of the sheet to protect it from the elements. A machine presses a thin layer of protective coating onto the leather as the sheets pass through. The sheets are rolled in an oven to dry the coating, then hung on racks to cool and dry completely. Each one goes through this process several times to make it more sustainable. Then another machine applies heat and pressure to combine the coating layers. The last step is the conception. It is made by an embossing machine, which gives the leather the look and feel of animal skin. The leather is then sold to designers around the world to make handbags, shoes, etc.

180 billion cans of soda are thrown away every year. Bottletop recycles nearly 1,500 pounds of this waste each year by turning tabs into designer handbags. To begin with, materials are purchased from waste pickers or collected directly from landfills where they are sorted and sold. The pellets are then carefully machine washed and dried. Workers then separate the tabs by hand and paint them. The tops are then sewn together using a method similar to crochet weaving. This Bellani bag takes about eight hours to make and uses exactly 1,252 tabs. The bags come in a variety of sizes and cost between $ 50 and $ 918.

Every year, London firefighters throw away up to 4 tonnes of old damaged fire hoses that are no longer safe to use. Since 2005, Kresse Wesling and her partner, Elvis, have collaborated with the London Fire Department to transform their old fire hoses into luxury handcrafted bags and accessories. They donate 50% of their profits to charities. The material of the fire hose is nitrile rubber, which is a high quality synthetic material designed to be resistant to heat and water. Elvis and Kresse had to develop their own equipment and machinery to process pipes because manufacturers in the luxury accessory industry were unsure of how to use them. They first clean the material, then decide what to create with it. After being washed, the hose is cut and divided further to make it ready to be used in bags. Once done, there are 44 meters of material. Then they cut the pattern pieces and sew them into the product they are making. They saved nearly 200 tons of materials from landfills, including fire hoses, coffee bags, tea bags, scraps of leather, etc.

You can crochet durable accessories from plastic bags by forming the bags into yarn-like strands. TikTok designer Grace Xu crocheted a bag, bucket hat and vest from plastic bags. Xu learned this method by following a tutorial from his colleague TikToker Josh Hillary. To turn your plastic bags into a “plane” or plastic wire, first fold each bag into a long piece, then cut the bags into strips. Then tie the strips together until you have enough to crochet. Any color or pattern on the bags will create a unique pattern as you crochet.

Since 2015, Adidas has partnered with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans to transform marine pollution into sportswear. To begin with, the waste is collected in coastal areas. The waste is then sorted, and the recovered plastic is sent to an Adidas processing plant. Adidas uses plastic bottles that contain polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and any materials it cannot use, such as caps and rings, are sent to normal recycling facilities. The processing plant crushes, washes and dehydrates the waste, leaving only small plastic flakes. The flakes are heated, dried, cooled and cut into small resin pellets. Adidas melts these pellets to create a filament that is spun in what the company calls ocean plastic, a form of polyester yarn. Adidas uses ocean plastic to form the uppers of shoes and clothing like jerseys. Each item in his Parley collection is made up of at least 75% intercepted marine litter. And Adidas claims the products meet the same performance and comfort standards as its other shoes. Adidas claims that more than 50% of its clothing uses recycled polyester. Recycled polyester uses less water and fewer chemicals and helps prevent plastic pollution. Adidas’ goal is to replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester by 2024.

These bracelets help clean the ocean. Beads and strings are made from post-consumer recycled materials, and each 4Ocean product comes with a ‘one pound pledge’ to remove 1 pound of litter from oceans, rivers and coasts. 4Ocean sells the bracelets and other products made from recycled plastics, such as water bottles and cell phone cases, online and uses the money to fund ocean and beach cleanups. The company has collected more than 17 million pounds of waste since 2017.



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