The fashion industry like it or not touches each and every one of our lives, from north to south east to west across the globe the fashion industry is a dominant force. Sadly though the global fashion industry is also the second dirtiest industry on the planet after oil production.
US based company Thread International have been working on breaking the cycle of our throw away society, making use of the millions of trash items such as plastic bottles, waste clothes, you name it. Their motto from “Ground to Good” encompasses a philosophy that says we can all work together to create a cleaner greener planet from the ground up.
The Thread International network provides jobs and income for over 3,600 people in the countries such as Haiti and Honduras. The network consists of approximately 1,800 bottle collectors, entrepreneurs and manufacturing employees in Haiti where the supply chain is based, and another 1,800 in Honduras. Besides income the employees also benefit from valuable services such as training and micro-loans.
The PET plastic bottles are collected, processed and turned in to new raw materials such as plastic pellets that can be used in industries such as the fashion industry. The plastic pellets are extruded to produce fibres, these fibres are then incorporated with other raw materials to produce fabric for t-shirts, skirts, bags, jeans, you name it. Some of the Thread International fabrics contain 100% recycled plastic from bottles.
One of Thread Internationals more recent partnerships has been with outdoor lifestyle giant Timberland who have agreed to use Threads Fabrics in a range of footwear and bags from 2017.
Colleen Vien Director of Sustainability at Timberland said
“We are beyond excited about partnering with Thread. From the moment we met them, we knew this had the potential to be far more than a supplier relationship. Building community has always been at the heart of Timberland, and we were also inspired by the Haiti connection, given our work there over the past five years. Any time we find an opportunity to create both environmental and social value, that’s a big win.”
Timberland are heavily focused on sustainability (and quite rightly so) to date they’ve already used 233 Million plastic water bottles in the footwear they produce.
Here’s hoping many more companies embrace the ethic Thread International and Timberland have embraced. The work that’s being done here is truly superb and really holds a mirror up to how we should all think more carefully about the throw away lifestyle many millions of us lead across the globe.
PET Plastic bottles are a real pain in the environmental neck, but I can’t help but wonder why we aren’t using much better solutions such as cardboard or even dare I say glass. Once upon a time I used to earn money from taking glass pop bottles back to the shop, hmm have we really moved forward or have we all just got more greedy and lazy?