According to Surfers Against Sewage, one of the UK’s most active and successful environmental charities, approximately eight million pieces of plastic enter the world’s oceans every day. An estimated 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces are believed to be floating around as we speak, weighing 269,000 tonnes. As microplastics have made their way into the marine food chain, studies have found that 59 percent of whales, 36 percent of seals, 40 percent of seabirds and 100 percent—yes, literally all—of marine turtles have eaten plastic or another being that has consumed plastic.
In recent years, sustainable fashion manufacturers have been picking up the world’s waste and turning it into eco-fabrics and trendy clothing. However, as technological advances in the social impact sector have become more widespread, many eco-conscious consumers want more transparency when supporting a company that’s hoping to make a difference. Where did the plastic come from? How much plastic was used to make this item? What is the social impact of this company?
To further the fight against plastic pollution, Waste2Wear, a Dutch company with branches in 10 countries, has developed the world’s first recycled fabrics that can be traced through blockchain technology.
Over the past decade, Waste2Wear has created quality fabrics, garments and bags from discarded plastic waste in the ocean. Such ample experience in sustainable fashion, along with its fully certified and complaint supply chain, has allowed the company to help other fashion brands and textile businesses hoping to create sustainable products and become circular.
Through its blockchain, Waste2Wear customers are able to trace the recycled plastics back to their source. As the materials go from waste to fabric or garment, every step will be entered and recorded into the value chain, allowing anyone to see the journey and feel assured that their products are helping the environment. An exclusive assessment process verifies the quantity of recycled PET bottles that have been used in every garment.
The plastic used for the company’s fabrics and clothing is sourced from the water and coastal areas of an island near Shanghai. Through a collaboration with the local government and NGOs, Waste2Wear created a business model for former fishermen to earn an income (lost due to environmental regulations that ban fishing in the area) by gathering plastic from the ocean. These fishermen and other collectors gather over three tonnes of plastic waste a week.
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