Innovation That Matters

T-shirts | Photo source Parker Burchfield on Unsplash

Recycled T-shirts made without chemicals

Fashion & Beauty

A new method for creating T-shirts uses old shirts, virgin fibres and no chemicals or water

Spotted: US clothing brand Marine Layer has partnered with Spanish textile factory Recover to produce T-shirts made from recycled clothing. The new Re-Spun line is made by breaking down and separating fabric blends, then extracting cotton fibres. These recycled fibres are mixed with sustainably-sourced cotton, hemp and recycled plastic fibres to add strength.

Because Recover separates fibres by colour, no chemicals or dyes are needed. The process uses ultraviolet light to clean individual fibres instead of washing the old clothes. Since it normally takes 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of finished cotton fabric, this represents huge environmental savings.

Although the process can recycle almost any garment, Marine Layer mainly uses clothing provided by its own customers using pre-paid mailing envelopes, store drop-offs and a $5 (€4.50) credit for each shirt donated (up to $25). The new line is available in-store and online.




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