Outdoor gear made from recycled plastic

Why you should choose outdoor gear made from recycled plastic?

Conventional plastic is made out of fossile fuel. 

To produce plastic clothing and gear, first they need to drill for oil. That is already a threat for nature. And oil is non-renewable and finite… So one day it will all be gone for good…

After the suck oil out of the earth, they make tiny pellets out of the oil. That`s what they need to make products, packaging out of oil.

The small pellets are a common found on beach clean ups because they get washed out during the production or they get lost on the way.. These are so small that you mostly don’t see them on first sight.

The pellets get melted and molded into products and made into yarn for clothing to make all of the plastic products you use in your daily life…

Shoes, toothbrushes, bottles, etc made from plastic that end up on landfills close to the ocean can easily end up in the ocean.

If these plastic products wouldn´t end up on landfills they can`t potentially end up in the ocean….

So what can you do? 

Industries need to tackle this problem by using natural materials, and by using/recycling the plastic that is already out there. A circular economy should be the goal. So if you run a company, or store, try and support a circular economy, find solutions and new ways to produce your products sustainable. Find plastic free/reusable solutions for packaging, etc.

As a customer you can buy second hand clothing/products and support sustainable brands/companies.
It is important to support the sustainable, fair and ethical brands because they are the way into a greener future!

You could buy products made out of recycled materials, made from natural organic materials.
You can wash less and cold, or by hand. 

Or you can use a Guppyfriend washing bag that catches the micro fiber.

Good to know that more and more conscious brands are using organic cotton, recycled materials, recycled plastic or even inventing totally new fibers made from pineapple, eucalyptus, bamboo, wood pulp, etc.

Let’s take a look at some great brands, producing products made with recycled plastic.

Outdoor gear made from recycled plastic (and other recycled materials)

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United by blue

United by blue** is a sustainable US based company. The products are either produced in the US or in fair wage factories in Asia and they source with sustainable materials and supply chains.

They rescue and use Bison Wool that would traditionally get discarded as a byproduct of the meat industry. What an awesome idea!!
They also use almost entirely recycled polyester. 

And on top of all this, for every item sold they remove 1 pound of trash from our worlds oceans and waterways!! Read more about the company here: UnitedByBlue.

Organic Basics Active Wear

Organic Basics is an amazing sustainable brand from Denmark, using recycled plastic materials (nylon),but also  organic cotton and tencel for their sustainable produced apparel.

Norton Point Sunglasses

Click here to check the price on Amazon

Norton Point and “The Plastic Bank” pay Haitians to collect one special sort of plastic (high density polyethylene) from beaches. This is one of the most common type of plastic.
Norton Point then melts the plastic trash and molds it into sunglasses frames for their Ocean Plastic line.

They also donate 5% of the net profit to pick up a pound of plastic for every pair of sold sunnies.

Haglöfs Essens Mimic Hooded Jacket

Buy on Amazon

This jacket from the swedish brand Haglöfs is insulated with a synthetic called Quad Fusion Mimic made from recycled and fluorocarbon free materials.

Check their website to learn more about their sustainable company: Haglöfs.com

Eco Swimwear

More and more individual brands use recycled plastic to produce swimwear already.
Just to name a few: sloppy tunas, batoko, myoli-bay, baiia, Loka swimwear**, my marini, sober and naked, …

While it is awesome to see all the plastic get’s reused for swimwear already, remember that they still shed micro fiber if you wash them, so think about washing them by hand or use the guppy friend washing bag.

Skateboards and surfboards

Click here to buy on Amazon

The guys behind Bureo wanted to do something with ghost nets. Fishing nets that got lost or discarded in the ocean and most likely to kill a lot of wild life while traveling through the open ocean. Fish, turtles, dolphins etc could easily get entangled, starve to death or get drowned or strangled…
So Bureo is partnering with Chilean fishing towns. They collect old nets, truck them to their factory where they get melted and molded to skateboards and other products.

Surfing: more and more start ups trying to use recycled materials for the surfing crowd. Some I found: Eco-finMarkofoamblanksEcoboard project,… 

I haven’t found any snowboards or skis made from recycled materials yet, but on my research I found one company that makes 100% recyclable snowboards and skis. And a lot of winter wear is out there already where the insulation is made from recycled materials. Like this Waterproof winter pant from Burton** is made from 40% recycled content.

You could always try and look for a company that does use old snowboards or skis, surfing boards for recycling/repurposing before just sending your old one to landfill!

Adidas and Parley for the ocean

Adidas hs produced a few fitness clothes made from recycled plastic already. I actually just realized my Adidas running shorts bought a couple years ago, is made from recycled polyester too.

In partnership with Parley for the ocean, they are working on making yarn out of recycled ocean plastic to use for shoes and clothing. 

Clothing made from recycled plastic: good or bad??

If you buy and use clothing made out of plastic, you are washing them regularly. If they get washed tiny micro fibers break off and get’s washed into our wild water. These fibers are so tiny that they can’t get filtered and they are polluting our oceans. 

The worst are fleece clothing, the material is so loose they shed fibers just too easily. Washing a fleece jacket can release up to 250.000 microplastic fibers (according to a 2016 study) 

You can even see the fibers sometimes if you shake a fleece jacket in the light. So you could say you are breathing these fibers too…

So clothing made from recycled plastic is great right? Well on one side it is, because you don’t need virgin oil…. BUT the recycling of plastic makes plastic easier to break, so fabrics made from recycled plastic will shed more fibers… more micro plastic fibers…

What can you do? Wash less, wash cold, air dry, and use a micro plastic fiber washing bag: 

The Guppy Friend Washing Bag

The Guppy Friend Washing Bag is aiming to stop the pollution of micro plastic fiber.
If you wash your plastic clothing in a washing machine, invisible pieces of fibers are breaking off from your fleece, polyester, nylon, etc. clothing. 
These bits are so small they slip through the machines and wastewater treatment filters and end up polluting our wild waters/oceans. From there it gets back to us, it ends up on our plates. How? One example is Sea salt. It is made from ocean water. and is already known to contain micro plastic, so we could say we are actually eating our own clothing…

The Guppy Friend Bag is not only catching the fibers, it will also make your clothing last longer.
After washing (it might take a few wash circles until you actually can see fibers, depending on material and age of your clothing) you take out your clothing and if you see the fibers caught in the corners of the bag you must discard them in the bin! Please don’t wash the fibers down the drain when you are cleaning the bag, that would be very contra productive!! 

Read more about the danger of micro plastic pollution here-> StopMicroplastic

thehappychoices.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are also affiliate partner for other programs/stores like lifewithoutplastic.com, etc. 

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