Retro-inspired California lifestyle brand Marine Layer launched its Re-Spun capsule collection for fall, and it’s awash with plush, boldly colored, Seventies-style men’s and women’s apparel created exclusively from upcycled Ts — all donated by its own customers.
The brand’s circular economy solution has gained a lot of traction: Marine Layer collected more than 100,000 shirts from shoppers since the start of its Re-Spun program in late 2018. Post collection, the Ts are used to create its impressively soft 100 percent recycled shirts. Its process has rescued roughly 30,000 pounds of textile waste from landfills, according to the brand.
But its latest Re-Spun capsule features an enticing selection of nostalgic styles, including four men’s shirts, two sweatshirts, a pair of sweatpants and shorts. For women, the capsule offers four autumnal-hued T-shirts — with Seventies’-themed colorblocking — a sweatshirt, and a complete joggers suit outfitted in red, white and blue. Prices range from $54 to $120 per piece.
“We’ve always tried to make the best possible products in a responsible way and part of that has been trying to find a solution to textile waste. [The Re-Spun] program is an extension of that goal made possible by our awesome community and our experience developing best-in-class fabrics,” said Michael Natenshon, the ceo of Marine Layer. “Within two years, we’re shooting to have 50 percent of our styles be a part of the Re-Spun program.” The brand added that it will soon release its first Re-Spun fleece collection in September.
And Renee Lopes Halvorsen, vice president of marketing, Marine Layer, added, “Making the best possible products in a responsible way has been a core value of ours since our founding. We’ve always used sustainable materials to make our custom fabrics and work each year to find more ways to do that without trading on quality and the absurdly soft feel we’re known for. [This month], we published our first-ever annual sustainability report, where we share our commitments to using sustainable materials in our fabrics and to increased transparency into our supply chain. [Our Re-Spun program proves] that there’s a commercially viable solution available now to recycle old clothes.”
Marine Layer collects shirts in its stores or online, and offers prepaid mailers for its customers to send in their old clothing. The process is a multistep operation that includes sorting collected T-shirts into four color groups; breaking them down; reweaving them into colored, upcycled cotton fiber, and topping off with a light sueding that enhances softness. The fibers are cleaned through a UV light-based technology that is entirely chemical-free.
Due to the nature of the process, each shirt in the collection slightly varies in color, and impressively, no water or chemicals are used at any point throughout its material development, as there is no need to dye the garments. The brand said that the manufacturing process saves an average of 2,700 liters of water that is typically needed to produce one shirt — which significantly improves the level of waste and water consumption.
Molly Getty, vice president of design and development, Marine Layer, explained: “Creating Re-Spun was the most complicated fabric development we’ve ever done. It took years, but the outcome is so worth it! Re-Spun maintains the quality and softness of the garment.”
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