Everlane's ReNew Collection is Giving Water Bottles a New Purpose

Everlane is a clothing company based in San Francisco that focuses on creating ethically sourced clothing that is meant to last. On October 24, 2018, Everlane created a line of clothing entitled the ReNew Collection, the company’s  first step for reducing the use of new plastics.

A problem in the clothing industry that people don’t consider is the use of virgin plastic. Virgin plastic is newly manufactured plastic that has not been made into a product. 65 million tons of new plastic waste is produced by textile companies annually. Plastic is used in synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester. The ReNew Collection is starting by initially selling outerwear, just in time for winter. They are selling two types of fleece pullovers ($55-65), five types of puffer jackets ($88-175), and one kind of parka ($165). You can find these jackets at Everlane.com.

The next couple of steps into ridding the company of new plastic is to partner with vendors to develop new trims and components that are free of virgin plastic, and replacing all virgin plastic poly bags with renewed versions. With these changes, the company hopes to reduce the 161 million tons of plastic waste created annually by packaging and 46 million tons of plastic waste created annually by consumer products. Creating their very own fabric made of discarded plastic bottles allows Everlane to protect the environment while maintaining ethically sourced materials.

The process of creating the fabric can be summed up in  four steps:

  1. Cubes of discarded plastic bottles are brought in from recycling facilities. They are then sorted and washed by hand and machine.

  2. The bottles go through giant shredders that turn the bottles into plastic flakes. These flakes are used to create molten plastic.

  3. The melted plastic is cooled and formed into a long spaghetti shape. The company dices up the strands which create little plastic crystals.

  4. Finally, the crystals are melted again and turned into a fine thread that is then spun into fabric.

I highly recommend this company for clothing. They perform ethical business practices and do not contribute to fast fashion (the act of retailers producing cheap, trendy clothing in large quantities at breakneck speed). They create clothes and accessories that are meant to last decades at prices that compete with Zara or H&M.