During the recent New York Fashion Week event, Plastics Make it Possible®, an initiative sponsored by America’s Plastics Makers™ through the American Chemistry Council, allowed anyone on midtown 8th Avenue to “buy” a limited edition designer T-shirt made with recycled plastic fabric from a new vending machine—using a plastic bottle as currency. Passersby simply deposited a plastic bottle into the machine and in response received a new garment made with recycled plastics, underscoring how everyday plastics can live on as “eco-chic” fashion.
The new vending machine was designed to celebrate the growing role of recycled plastics in fashion during New York Fashion Week. Plastics Make it Possible partnered with New York fashion designer Allison Parris for the debut of the vending machine, which located South of Columbus Circle on 8th Avenue between 57th and 58th streets in New York City from Sept. 9 through 11. The T-shirts featured an original design by Parris, whose collection is “built around the idea that retaining moral values and being able to wear beautiful, well made clothing are not mutually exclusive actions.”
Parris is one of a growing number of designers who have embraced recycled plastics as one of the new go-to materials for creating stylish clothing and accessories. To help create the T-shirt material, plastic bottles are cleaned, melted, and stretched into a fine thread, which then is woven into soft, comfortable fabrics. Thanks to the versatility of recycled plastics, these fabrics can be manufactured with a variety of weights and textures for a wide range of uses. Both high-end designers and mainstream brands today use recycled plastics to make everything from stylish party dresses to on-trend shoes to rugged outdoor jackets.