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Turning PET Plastic Bottles into Recyclable Fashion: “the 50” Jacket

jacket made from 50 recycled pet plastic bottles

jacket made from 50 recycled pet plastic bottles

For years, I’ve assumed that plastic recycling was largely a “lesser of two evils” thing: yes, it’s definitely better than sending it to a landfill, but plastics are inevitably “downcycled” into a lesser material… and that material will definitely end up in a landfill because it can’t be recycled. So, the only environmentally-friendly way to deal with that PET plastic water bottle is to avoid it completely – eventually, it’s going to end up in the ground, where it will never completely decompose… right?

Well, largely, but the folks at made-in-the-US eco-fashion brand Dirtball have undermined one (critical) part of that assumption: the further recyclability of recycled plastic. Their new “the 50” jacketΒ doesn’t just feature material made from (you guessed it) 50 used plastic water bottles; the material itself is recyclable (which the company will do if you send the jacket back to them). Joe Fox, founder of Dirtball, has the details:

As you can probably already tell, Joe’s video explanation is a part of the company’s Kickstarter campaign for “the 50”: they’re pre-selling the jacket, and, at certain reward levels, pairing it with other items in their collection. Given the unique nature of this product, and it’s status as “first piece of recyclable outerwear,” I expected it to be pretty pricey. But $175 strikes me as pretty reasonable… and if you don’t wait around, you can reserve one at the “early bird” price of $150.

Clothing recycling itself isn’t particularly revolutionary; recycled plastic fabric that can be further recycled is, though. Of course, in the case of a jacket, it still has to keep its wearer warm while still being comfortable and stylish: no one’s going to spend $175 to look like a dork. Assuming “the 50” works on all of these fronts, I’d guess Dirtball is onto something…

What do you think? Would you buy one of these jackets? Let us know, and share any other thoughts you have…

Image credit: Screen capture from “the 50” Kickstarter video

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