Clothing retailer Woolworths is offering jeans made of cotton and recycled plastic bottles. It recently launched Re:Cycled, a range of men’s jeans that contain at least 12 recycled 500 ml plastic bottles. Woolworths works with suppliers to manufacture jeans made with recycled materials. Each pair of jeans contains 65 per cent cotton sourced from various African countries. The remaining 35 per cent of the fabric is polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. This process uses eco-chemicals, reduces water usage by 67 per cent and reduces energy use by 62 per cent, enhancing environmental benefits.
Denim for the jeans is made in Mauritius, where the garments are finished and packed to South Africa. The production process has also been streamlined to lessen its environmental impact. In the past, a pair of jeans, from the beginning of making the fabric to the end product, used 90 liters of water. Now that process uses 35 liters of water.
Denim is considered to be a heavy pollutant in terms of garment manufacturing. It wastes a lot of water. Two years back Levi’s introduced denim made with polyester that comprises recycled plastic bottles. The principle of using recycled goods in clothing manufacture has already taken root with big brands and major fashion labels.