By: Tali Hunt
In recent years, some companies in the fashion industry have taken recycling to a new level. As companies are beginning to implement sustainability into their missions, they are beginning to create their products in ways which fight more waste production by breaking down different kinds of waste products and using them as their materials.
This practice is known as upcycling—saving items from landfills by giving them new uses or purposes.
For example, Patagonia introduced their first polyester fleece jacket made from recycled bottles in 1993. Now, they produce more than 80 different products with recycled plastics, according to earth911.
More recently, adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans, “an organization in which creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness about the disastrous state of the oceans and to collaborate on promising projects that can protect and conserve them.” In June 2016, the partnership announced the release of a world-first: adidas X Parley, a running shoe produced with technology designed to produce athletic wear with plastic from Parley Ocean Plastic. These announcements included giveaways of the shoe and support from public figures, like Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
Patagonia and adidas are only two examples of companies around the world who are working to produce more environmentally-friendly and high-quality products for their consumers. However, they are hoping to produce more than just products and revenues. These companies have sustainability goals and are working to raise awareness about the state of the environment through their goods.
In time, we may see a cultural shift in the goods we consume and if/when/how we dispose of them because of practices in branding, production, and marketing. Patagonia encourages its customers to repair damaged products instead of throwing them out and buying new. This extends the usable life of the product, reduces waste and saves the customers’ money.