This African Clothing Brand Is Turning Discarded Plastics Into Men’s Shorts

By  |  October 5, 2019

Every day, the world is devising ways to get rid of plastic waste which continues to be a threat to marine life. A report earlier predicted that if plastics are produced continuously with the current rate, by 2050 plastics in the ocean will outweigh the fish.

A Greenpeace report earlier indicated that the world produces 260 million tons of plastic annually. 10 percent of the 260 million tons end up in oceans destroying marine life.

A Cape Town clothing brand is converting disposed plastic waste into comfortable men shorts. GiLo Lifestyles collects plastic bottles found on beaches around the world then uses them to come up with clothing.

The clothing brand uses about 20 plastic bottles to make a pair of shorts which are perfect for the summer weather as they are water repellent, fast-drying, light and soft.

Photo Courtesy: Gilo Lifestyle

“The best bit is if you didn’t know they were made from plastic, you wouldn’t be able to guess – they’re surprisingly soft to touch and stretchy.”

The company was founded in 2015 but started converting plastic into clothing in November 2018. It was founded by two South African women; Gina Tarboton and Loren Dyer.

“We always wanted to find ways of helping the planet, animals and our oceans. We’ve been looking for fabrics like this for 8 to 10 years and eventually I stumbled across the boardshorts factory while at a big trade show in China, I asked them about fabrics made from plastic and specifically plastic from the oceans – as it’s very concerning what’s happening to our sea life and the amount of litter washed up on our beaches. They said yes, they have just sourced factories making this type of fabric,” said Tarboton.

After its collected, the plastic wastes are stripped off the capos and labels they are then washed before being converted to smaller pellets which are then stretched out and made into yarn, it is finally printed digitally.

As technology advances apace, new technologies are born to remodel and reuse plastics while other innovations are attempting to decompose plastics completely.

Firms are unearthing approaches to transform plastic waste into new, usable products hence increasing the useful lifespan of plastic while concurrently lessening the need to manufacture new plastics.

Today, plastic wastes can be converted to useful products. For instance, Faith Aweko, a Ugandan woman earns a living through transforming plastic waste into beautiful, durable, sustainable and waterproof bags.

Plastics are also used to build roads. South Africa began the construction of Africa’s first plastic road. A number of countries including the UK, US, China, embraced the idea of plastic roads. They have some roadways built using plastics. And Apparently, prefabricated plastic roads are 60 percent stronger and up to three times longer than conventional roads.

In some other parts of the world like Panama, a small island in Central America, residents are transforming plastic bottles into stylish and environment-friendly houses.

Featured Image Courtesy: Twitter

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