Eco-friendly clothing can conjure less-than-positive connotations of dirty hippies in itchy drug rugs made out of hemp. Fortunately, the reality is much different. Aside from head-in-the-sand idiots, most folks recognize that protecting our environment is a top global priority. And fashion brands are doing their part to find creative solutions, while also maintaining a sense of style.
One popular method has been to use plastic bottles. While we should all do our part to avoid using them, the bottles can be recycled into a polyester yarn that can then be used to make clothes. The way the process works is that the bottles are broken down into pellets which is then reformed into fibers.
To celebrate Earth Day, we found the best recycled menswear that close the loop by taking consumer waste and converting it into new products. And, of course, they look great too.
G-STAR RAW FOR THE OCEANS DAVID 3D SWEATPANTS
Part of a collaboration with Pharrell and his company Bionic Yarn, these sweatpants are made from plastic that is retrieved from the ocean and converted into denim. They have a great silhouette with the chunky waistband and ankle cuffs and the star characters used in the all-over print add a fun detail.
PATAGONIA DIAMOND QUILT SNAP-T PULLOVER
Patagonia was the first outdoor clothing company to turn trash into clothes, when it began using plastic soda bottles to make polyester fleece back in 1993. And their commitment to protecting to the environment has never wavered. This quilted pullover is insulated with recycled polyester that is wrapped in organic cotton. It’s a great piece for cool summer nights or as a layer during the winter.
ETNIES JAMESON 2 ECO
Recycled rubber is incorporated into the outsole and recycled plastic is used in the laces on the Jameson 2 Eco, which is a great casual shoe for kicking around this summer. The sneakers are also part of Etnies’ “Buy A Shoe, Plant A Tree” program, so for every pair that is purchased, the company will, you guessed it, plant a tree.
MATT & NAT LESSON MESSENGER BAG
Matt & Nat makes fine vegan leather goods, which have the same feel as animals skins but without the animal killing part. And all of the linings in the bags are entirely crafted from recycled nylon. This messenger bag has two interior compartments including one that zips shut and an adjustable shoulder strap.
GROCERIES POCKET T-SHIRT
Made with 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled polyester, this T-shirt has a terrific soft hand feel. Also pocket tees always seem to look sharper than regular ones even though you never use the pocket to actually hold anything.
BRAVE GENTLEMAN FUTURE-SUEDE MOTO JACKET
A classic motorcycle jacket is a must in any guy’s closet, but this one blends that traditional styling with progressive thinking materials. The “future-suede” is made from recycled polyester in Japan and so is the lining.