When I first heard that it was possible to make my first clothing line out of recycled plastic bottles, I was over the moon. Not just because I was a sustainability major and all the things I learned in my degree were finally coming together. I was finally able to make a viable, breathable, comfortable product… And I would finally have the travel shirt of my dreams.
Why Bottle Thread Clothing is Made out of Recycled Plastic Bottles:
Recycled Polyester or Polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, is not a new concept. It is mainly used in athletic wear and leisure wear because we tend to associate it with lesser quality. Bottle Thread is changing those perceptions by turning them into minimalist casual-formal wear for when you want to travel or run errands while still looking nice. Here is the rationale behind why I chose my clothing line to be made out of recycled plastic bottles
Recycled Plastic Bottles are Way More Sustainable
When we talk about sustainability, I’m referring to balancing the environment with the economy and ethics of production. I could have easily just used a polyester fabric or made the shirt abroad… but for real, the cost of production would have only really been $5 per unit less.
We’re taking plastic bottles out of the oceans and turning them into comfy, minimalist fashion. I pay my employees a living wage. The company is profitable, and I can scale it like a traditional business. If other big companies follow in my footsteps, awesome. I just want better fashion and was tired of not being able to find it on my own.
The Shirt is Way More Comfortable
Have you felt a plain white button down shirt lately? They be scratchy, y’all! The limits of technology make it hard for me to convey just how comfortable this shirt is without letting you feel it for yourself. One of my friends said it was like if a cloud hugged a pile of silk. I’m not sure how that translates, but I am very happy with the product.
It Actually Fits People
The fit of the shirt is just another extension of how comfortable the shirt is. I was tired of baggy “boyfriend” clothes that fashion labels think we want to keep buying. I am not a twig. I have a figure. So do many MANY other women. Where is all the good fitting clothing?
So the nice part of making this design out of a recycled polyester blend is that it is made to fit better without being baggy. Some shirts try to do this but fail because the shirt gives too much around the chest. That’s why I decided to size the women’s shirt through relative bra sizes instead of the typical S-M-L scale.
Another thing that I really love is that there is an extra set of invisible “boob buttons” on the women’s shirt to make sure everything stays in place without being noticeable. Why has this not been done before? I have no idea.
The Shirt Can Be The Most Minimalist Garment
I was pretty selfish when designing this garment. I wanted something that I can fit into and take with me when I travel (which I’m expecting to be a lot.) I. Hate. Ironing. And never want to do it, so I decided to base the entire clothing line on a wrinkle resistant, a minimalist garment that (oh by the way…) is sustainable and made from recycled plastic bottles.
It’s Very Cost Effective
Getting into some technical details, the cost of labor is pretty expensive in the USA. Though I am willing to pay more to have it made here because it lowers transportation costs, and minimizes the room for error over a miscommunication.
That being said, using sustainable fabric over traditional cotton on the same design under the same circumstances is still cheaper when we account for labor. Cotton clothing doesn’t stretch while the high-quality recycled polyester does. Designers had to create a bunch of convoluted cuts and designs just to make sure a button down shirt “fit” just so.
Because the fabric stretches properly, we were able to take out a lot of decorative seam lines, thereby reducing the cost per unit significantly. The overall look is a lot cleaner than it would have been if we went with the traditional cotton approach.
It can easily be made in America
Being a proud citizen, I’m very happy to boast that all the shirts are made in the USA. Yes, this does increase the price to make than if I went abroad, but I personally believe it is worth it. I wanted to deliver a product that is close to home without sacrificing the quality.
Because all the systems are coming together, I was able to spend my extra time putting together an online course. Once it’s up, anyone who downloaded my free sustainable business worksheet will have free lifetime access to the course. If you want to be kept in the loop, check out the button below.