One-hundred million used bottles makes a lot of clothing. As part of Quiksilver’s partnership with Repreve — a provider of recycled performance fibers — 3,500 tons of plastic have been repurposed for board shorts, jackets and other garments since the collaboration’s inception in 2012.
“We are very excited to contribute a part to the protection of something we genuinely care about: the ocean. As surfers and snowboarders, we need to think about the future, so our grandchildren can enjoy the mountain and the wave we love so much. Upcycling plastic waste into something that is useful for us, even today, is an important step,” said Garry Wall, global general manager of Quiksilver.
The process to produce garments is incredibly more eco-friendly than standard manufacturing alternatives. “Producing recycled polyester consumes significantly lower amounts of energy [45 percent] and water [20 percent] than virgin polyester. Overall, the recycled fabric produces a third less greenhouse gases than conventional polyester one,” the spokesman said.
What’s more, the initiative has conserved nearly nine million liters of drinking water and furnished annual energy consumption for almost 1000 households, the spokesman explained. One pair of board shorts is comprised of approximately 10 recycled bottles.
“Recycling is one thing, reducing another,” Wall said. “One-hundred million bottles are a milestone, now we are working on a refined strategy to fight plastic waste through innovative products and actions. There are still many areas where we need to improve, and we look forward to bringing green values into all areas of our business, a responsibility that our industry as a whole needs to assume.”
Derived from fossil fuels, plastic is a raw material that’s consistently produced in new forms — only 10 percent is created from recycled materials, the spokesman said. The remaining amount winds up in landfills or natural surroundings, namely the ocean, which is increasingly threatening the habitability for marine wild life and the global climate.
Under the partnership, Quiksilver’s various brands Roxy, DC shoes, and its namesake line have been using Repreve yarn.
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