12 Cool And Innovative Things That Are Making The Fashion Industry More Environmentally Friendly

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This World Environment Day, we’re spotlighting the fashion industry’s groundbreaking strides towards sustainability. From transforming waste into wearable art to planting trees with every purchase, these twelve innovations are leading the charge in making fashion more eco-friendly.

1. Lee Cooper’s Cigarette Butt Jeans

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Lee Cooper has taken recycling to new heights by creating a pair of jeans entirely out of recycled cigarette butts. This inventive approach not only reduces waste but also transforms harmful litter into stylish and durable clothing.

2. Farm Rio’s Tree-Planting Initiatives

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Farm Rio is on a mission to reforest the Amazon and Atlantic forests. For every purchase, the brand plants one tree, contributing to the 659,487 trees they’ve already donated. This effort not only aids reforestation but also supports local communities.

3. Junk Plastic Rehab’s Ocean Plastic Sunglasses

 

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Junk Plastic Rehab is turning the tide on ocean pollution by repurposing ocean plastic into fashionable sunglasses. This initiative helps reduce marine debris while providing consumers with stylish, eco-friendly eyewear.

4. Rothy’s Recycled Plastic Footwear

 

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Rothy’s is revolutionising the footwear industry with shoes made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles and post-consumer recycled materials. This approach not only diverts plastic from landfills but also creates comfortable and stylish shoes. Rothy’s also commonly hosts drives where if you bring in a used plastic bottle, they’ll give you a free pair of shoes (they even have the puppy seal of approval).

5. Tentree’s Forest Rejuvenation

 

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True to its name, Tentree plants ten trees for every item purchased. Intending to plant one billion trees by 2030, the brand empowers customers to track the growth of their trees through a unique code provided with each purchase.

6. H&M’s In-Store Recycling with Looop

H&M has embraced a circular economy by partnering with Looop, the world’s first in-store recycling system. Installed in their Stockholm store in 2020, Looop transforms old clothes into new ones, promoting a sustainable fashion lifecycle.

7. Vegea’s Grape Leather

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Vegea is pioneering vegan leather made from grape waste. By collaborating with Italian wineries, Vegea transforms grape skins, stalks, and seeds into a solvent-free, metal-free leather alternative. This innovation not only reduces waste but also offers a cruelty-free leather option.

8. Circulose® Circular Cellulose

 

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Circulose® is the first fashion material made from 100% discarded cotton. The Swedish company behind it converts discarded cotton and viscose into a biodegradable pulp, which is then turned into new fibres, yarns, fabrics, and garments, all powered by renewable energy.

9. Agraloop BioFibre

Agraloop BioFibre transforms food crop waste into high-value natural fibres. By repurposing leftovers from banana trees, pineapple leaves, rice straws, sugar cane stalks, and straw from hemp and flax, this innovation offers farmers additional income and reduces environmental pollution.

10. Orange Fiber’s Citrus Fabric

When life gives you oranges, make yarn? Orange Fiber uses by-products from the citrus juice industry to create a luxurious and sustainable fabric. Extracting cellulose fibres from orange peel and pulp, the company spins them into a biodegradable yarn with a soft, silk-like feel, turning citrus waste into fashion.

11. Sarjaa’s Apple Skin Handcrafted Bags

 

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Sarjaa, a homegrown brand by Anjana Arjun, is redefining fashion with handcrafted bags made from apple skin. Unlike traditional vegan leather, which often relies on PVC and poses micro-plastic pollution risks, Sarjaa uses eco-friendly, plant and fruit-based leather derived from upcycled food industry waste. This innovative approach results in a sustainable, chic leather alternative, perfect for your modern lifestyle.

12. Malai: Sustainable Innovation from Coconut Waste

 

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Malai collaborates with Southern India’s coconut farmers to repurpose waste coconut water, which would otherwise cause pollution. By sterilising this water and using it to feed bacterial cultures, Malai creates a durable, flexible material. This material, enriched with natural fibres and dyed with plant-based colours, is crafted into various products. Currently, Malai’s pilot unit produces around 200 square meters monthly, with plans to scale up sustainably.

- Fashion Writer

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