10 Brands Making Cool Products From Recycled Materials
by Grace Olivia Parry
Sustainability is at an all-time awareness high. A survey by BCG of 3,000 respondents worldwide found that people are more concerned about the environment in the wake of the pandemic and are more willing to change their own behavior as a result. We’re more conscious than ever of caring for our bodies, protecting our families and preserving our planet.
Thankfully, brands of all sizes are also prioritizing how they make the products they sell. Back in 2019, the shoe and apparel powerhouse New Balance collaborated with Reformation to create a shoe made from eco-friendly materials, launching the household name’s first sustainable sneaker. And they aren’t the only ones. Several brands are making moves to produce items made from recycled materials and in some cases are collaborating with other sustainable superheroes.
Mega-brand Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to create two sneakers and a clothing collection. Uniting the brand’s much-loved performance design with sustainable materials has made this collaboration one to watch. Each sneaker prevents around 11 plastic bottles from reaching the ocean. And you can bet the collection features the prettiest sea-soaked color palette from blue hues to sea greens.
Well known for their sustainable footwear, Rothy’s are practical, pretty and focused on protecting the planet. They’re made from recycled plastic cleverly woven together. And because they look stylish too, these comfortable shoes are popular with women on the go from NYC to LA. They have a sleek, knitted look, are waterproof and are one solution for re-using all that plastic waste polluting our planet.
When a cause is close to the heart, it’s natural for a business idea to blossom. And that’s exactly what happened to the three ocean-loving surfers that founded Bureo. Meaning “waves” in Mapuche, the brand takes abandoned fishing nets from the ocean and transforms them into skateboards. What better way to work toward preserving those gnarly waves?
4. Recover Brands
If the idea of brands upcycling used items to make something new speaks to you, you’ll love Recover Brands. These guys use plastic and textile waste to make their clothing and camping equipment. The founders love the great outdoors and are committed to preserving its beauty.
5. Green Toys
It’s not just clothing companies that are paving the way to a well-cared-for Earth. Green Toys make children’s toys out of recycled milk jugs — millions and millions of milk jugs, in fact. And that’s just in the ten or so years that they’ve been in business. Their toys are completely safe and eco-friendly with biodegradable packaging because sustainability is at the heart of what they do.
There’s something beautiful about the idea of taking recycled sea waste and bringing it back as sea-worthy items. And that’s exactly what RubyMoon does. Ocean-polluting fishing nets and plastic bottles are used to create swimwear and gym gear that’s as stunning as it is beach-friendly. Doing so has allowed the brand to drop their carbon footprint by 42%.
Made in downtown LA, Re/Done is the booming vintage brand. Denim is what they do — preloved and pre-owned denim to be specific. Taking old pairs of jeans apart literally at the seams, they take great care to turn them into highly coveted one-of-a-kind pieces. They even look to keep the stitching if they can, helping to preserve the heritage and reducing the need to use new materials.
Allbirds are known for their eco-friendly runners and laces made from recycled plastic bottles. With one collection made from merino wool and another from eucalyptus pulp, they’re certainly showing the footwear industry how it’s done. They’ve now even released a line of flip-flops made from carbon-negative EVA foam created using sugar cane.
We’ve covered fashion and fun; now to sustainable products for the home. Buffy creates down comforters made of a microfiber and eucalyptus fiber mix. Not only that, but each comforter is made from at least 50 plastic bottles. It’s comfortable, fluffy and also cruelty-free. As they like to say, "homegoods for the home planet."
Finally, we have the mega-sustainability brand Patagonia. Turning plastic bottles into clothing since 1993, these guys know how it’s done. From producing sustainable cashmere to the eco-friendly wash bag Guppyfriend, they’ve taken their classic polyester fiber creation to the next level. And they’re extremely active in speaking out about environmental issues.
To see brands, both big and budding, giving plastic waste a new lease on life in consumer products is a step in the right direction. But we also have to recognize that this isn’t a long-term solution to our ever-growing plastic problem. By using less plastic in the first place, looking to trade single-use plastic items for more sustainable materials and solutions, we can all do our part for our families and our planet.
Cleanyst is one option for using less plastic when it comes to body and home care products. The Cleanyst system features a countertop appliance, reusable mixing bottles and concentrates that are delivered directly to your door. By shipping only necessary ingredients in minimal packaging and harnessing the power of bottle reuse, our system helps reduce single-use plastic waste by around 80% compared to traditional products.
- BCG - The Pandemic Is Heightening Environmental Awareness
- Business Insider - 14 Companies That Are Capitalizing On the Unpopularity of Plastics
- Green Business Bureau - 8 Companies That Only Sell 100 Percent Recycled Products
- Compare Ethics - Recycled and Upcycled Clothing Brands To Know in 2020