On monday our group met and gave eachother individual tasks to research and then have a group meeting and discuss our next plans. Lois and I are brand manager/strategist, and we were given these tasks:
Research factories and suppliers - uk
magazine editorials - magazines we wanted to be featured in
third party promotion
The first idea of using plastic for a raincoat was initial an idea for environment and sustainability, but after discussing, we decided we needed to do more research on how the plastic is recycled and turned into fabric - basically the whole development from plastic to fabric. Is that process sustainable?
Photo by Bo Eide - Northern Norway
So doing some research on G-star Raws ethics and responsabilities the answer was pretty clear that using recycled plastic in our product would be a good idea. However, after doing more research and reading articles online, I might have to discuss this subject with my group on monday.
I found this article here. Which basically says 'Hey, recycled plastic in fashion is not as good as it sounds, and here is why' In short the artcile mentions when you put a synthetic garment in the washing machine, example: a t shirt made out of recycled plastic - it sheds microplastic fibers. Most washing machines does not have filters to trap these miniscule microfibers, so when the water drains from the machine, plastic filaments are swept through the sewers and eventually end up in the sea, but now as miniscule particles. (even harder to see and more dangerous for marine life)
- But then again - Would you put your raincoat in a washing machine?
So now, trying to find a solution to this problem. There are a few ways to resort this problem. Using the same technique as Conserve India, which is an unique way of upcycling plastic bags. The reason why this is a solution, is because the plastic is kept in it's original form and colors, so much less energy is used and there are no need for dyes.
- The only downsides to this technique is that the plastic remains it's original colour, which means we might have to change our whole idea of being able to personalize your own coat with your choice of colour.
Other solutions might be using a breathable eco fabric, but coated with some sort of wax, which I'm now trying to research more. Or... A way to recycle plastic into fabric without shredding it to such extent to reduce shedding.
Well, for now I'll bring this up as a subject for the group, and see where we go from there.