Plastic Clothes: Stylish and Sustainable

August 13, 2018


That plastic bottle you recycled has an exciting future ahead of it. It may end up as any number of products from children’s toys to tote bags — or even your favorite piece in your wardrobe! While paper clothing had a short-lived history, plastic clothes are a trend that’s here to stay. Here are some of our favorites:


Photo courtesy of New Era

Alright, let’s start from the top! Denver football fans can use their noggins to represent their team and their planet. This is a Broncos hat made entirely from recycled plastic — four water bottles to be exact. The NFL’s official on-field hat sponsor, New Era, explains that they produced the hats because customers are “increasingly looking for products with a transparent sustainability story.”

Photo courtesy of the NFL

However, this isn’t the NFL’s first foray into eco-friendly sportswear. In 2014, the Detroit Lions practiced in jerseys made from 21 recycled water bottles each. The team retired their traditional blue and silver to encourage fans to go green, and even increased the number of receptacles at their stadium to help make recycling easier.


Photo courtesy of Unifi

Behind every great article of clothing is a great piece of fabric. Unifi is a textiles company that has turned over 11 billion plastic bottles into fibers used in clothing, which they call REPREVE.  REPREVE fibers make a big impact on sustainability, but they’re leaving an even greater one on the minds of future generations.

Photo courtesy of Oak Hill

Using between 23 and 27 water bottles each, Oak Hall Cap & Gown uses REPREVE to make graduation gowns. Aside from being softer and cooler than traditional polyester gowns, these are 100% recyclable, as well. Unifi says eco-friendly gowns help schools “embrace sustainability regarding waste management, energy conservation and environmental protection,” helping grads take the first sustainable step into their adult lives.


Photo courtesy of Rothy’s

Shoemaker Rothy’s is also following the eco-friendly footsteps. Their washable women’s shoes are 3D knitted with plastic fibers repurposed from over 11 million water bottles to date. The company’s co-founders sought to address a gap they saw in the clothing industry: rarely does sustainability and style go hand in hand — but now, it goes foot in foot.

At Ernest, we’re paving a sustainable future, and eco-friendly plastics are a powerful part of the packaging toolkit. Learn more about the eco-friendly future of plastics and see what others are doing to reuse recycled materials.