How brand shoes-sneakers and apparel are made from recycled plastic bottles

How to recycle plastic better? Did you know that some of the company brand footwear and clothes can be made from recycled plastic? Read this article to know more about the innovative ideas of recycling plastic and the institutions who have accepted the challenge to make products from recycled plastics.

Plastic pollution is a growing problem all over the world. It creates a negative impact on the environment of air, land, and water and harm to plants, wildlife, and human life. Most of the plastic wastes end up in the oceans are land-based and it reaches to the oceans via seas and rivers. According to National Geographic, the amount of plastic waste found in the oceans is estimated to eight million tonnes per year and the same can be expected to increase by about 17 million tons per year by 2025.

What is the reason for increasing plastic pollution?

Undoubtedly we can say the reason behind the increasing plastic pollution is because Human beings are more attracted to plastic made items and depending upon the plastic items in their day to day life. For example, while traveling, we prefer for a luggage-free journey because of the ready availability of drinking water, food & fruit packets, napkins, toiletry items, diapers, etc. in one use disposable plastic containers in the market. The same way nowadays when we organize a party function, we prefer single-use plastic containers for drinking water, utensils for serving food and drinks like small bottles, cups, drinking straws, plates, cutlery, serving hand gloves & head covers, plastic wrappers, etc.

Why do humans prefer to use plastic items?

Because most of the plastic made items are low cost. There is no fear of breaking down while using/ handling/transiting. It can be used comfortably due to lightweight, water-resistant and electrically insulated and therefore it is safe to use. It will work in the dirt, chemicals, and water without any major problems. There is no fear of rusting, therefore, No need for oiling or greasing. Plastic items have a comparatively long life.

Over and above all plastic-based products that meet our day-to-day requirements are easily available on the market because of the increasing number of manufacturers/business firms that make different types of plastic items as per the people's needs. The reason is that with less investment one can start a business firm. For a manufacturer to make the production of plastic items, it consumes very less energy and less use of raw material due to the low density of plastic. Low-cost production helps to supply consumable items in the market with a lesser price affordable to the consumers of the poor and middle-class the population of India & other countries.

Though the usage of plastic products affects the environment & living things adversely due to plastic pollution, plastic-free living is not possible, because plastic has become a part of human life today. The plastic pollution, it is mainly happening due to the lack of proper garbage disposal system and their recycling facilities. But a number of institutions and personnel come forward with a suitable solution and efforts to save our environment.

How can we reuse that plastic which threatens our planet?

To reduce the plastic waste, National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures partnership jointly have taken the challenge to reduce the problem of growing ocean plastic pollution. They asked the world experts to develop an innovative solution to tackle this plastic waste crisis worldwide through three different track completions namely Design, Circular Economy, and Data Visualization. As a part of it, 291 teams have submitted their innovative solutions and out that 24 finalists from 13 countries have been selected including 2 from India. The finalists will be selected from each section and will be awarded in 2019.

Presently, in the manufacturing of all kinds of high-quality company brand shoes and apparel, recycled plastics are used. Below are some of the companies producing pioneering brand items made of recycled plastic.

  • Adidas
  • Adidas, a well-known company partnered with the environmental organization Parley for the oceans in 2015 with an aim to save ocean plastic pollution. They use plastic bottles in the production of brand-named shoes/ sneakers and apparel.

    As per CBC News, the CEO of Adidas reported that they have sold 1 million shoes that have made from ocean plastic bottles in 2017. For making each pair of shoes they have re-used 11 plastic bottles. In 2019 it is expected to be 11 million pairs of shoe production which will double the quantity of 2018 production made of plastic bottles that contain polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These plastic bottles are collected by parley and partners from the beaches / coastal areas and send to the plant of Adidas. With the help of Parley for the Oceans, Adidas is using readily available materials to manufacture new brand products. Thus, they jointly work for not to reach plastic wastes into the oceans or help to keep the plastic wastes out of the oceans. (Ref.:

  • Nike
  • Nike, known for its worldwide athletic footwear and apparel, uses plastic bottles to make Nike's brand shoes and apparel the sports uniform worn by national and international players. This helps to reduce the number of plastic bottle pollution in the oceans. They use recycled plastic bottles for the production of flexible Flyknit shoes and Jersey. According to Nike, they have used up approx. 600 million water bottles for fabricating/framing the Flyknit. For making Nike's fast-fit vapor knit kits & Nike's Match jerseys, per piece the company uses 12-18 plastic water bottles (1) Ref. (2) Reference:

  • Saola-Vegan Shoes
  • SAOLA uses recycled plastic bottles (PET) in the manufacture of shoes. It is noted that each pair of shoes contain 3-4 plastic bottles depending upon the size and style of the shoe. From the cleaned clear plastic bottles, they produce the fabric used in the uppers of their company brand shoes. To make this shoe fabric from the plastic bottle, it has to undergo various stepwise processes like cutting down the plastic bottles into uniform plastic flakes and pellets, and then these flakes/pellets convert to the melted solution which will pass through tiny holes to make filament and then into thread used for weaving the fabric. ( Reference:

  • Rothy's
  • Rothy's is a footwear company based in San Francisco, California started in 2012. As per their claim, as on the date, they have used appx.45 million plastic water bottles in the manufacturing of their stylish footwear. Rothy makes the footwear from 100% recycled plastics. ( Reference:

  • Everlane
  • Everlane, a company from the US makes sweatshirts/jackets, sweat pants &Glove boots from recycled plastic bottles. The company has planned to eliminate the virgin plastic from their Everlane's apparel, shoes, accessories, and packaging by 2021. For your knowledge, A pair of Everlane Glove boot makes from 9 plastic bottles and the same way, in the production of jackets and sweatshirts/sweat pants as per the size and shape, the use of plastic bottles is ranging from 15 to 60 nos. It is noted that Everlane has consumed 3 million recycled plastic bottles in the production and expected to consume100 million plastic bottles in the coming 5 years. (Reference:

  • Buffy
  • Buffy, a company that makes bedding brand comforts uses 50 recycled plastic bottles in each comforter. According to this company, they have recycled 7.5million plastic bottles from the ocean and landfills. (Reference:

  • Levi's
  • Levi's has created two products from recycled plastic bottles namely jeans and trucker jackets. In each product, they use 8 recycled plastic bottles. For making 300,000 Waste-Less jeans and jackets, they have consumed more than 3.6 million recycled plastic bottles of their spring 2013 collection. (Reference: -wasteless-8-bottles-1-jeans)

  • Alcis sports
  • Alcis Sports Pvt. Ltd situated in U.P, India produces 90% of the sportswear from recycled plastic bottles. With the help of a small plant in Bombay, Paragon Apparel and Alcis Sports owner use to process the plastic bottles to convert into finer apparel yarn. According to them, one athletic T-shirt can be made from Eight PET plastic bottles.

    Like above-mentioned names, many more manufacturing companies across the world are coming forward to reduce plastic pollution to a certain extent from the lap of the Earth and strive to achieve the manufacturing technologies for their sustainable production from recycling plastic bottles.

    See the image below to know how something new and useful has been made from waste plastic bottles by some brand-named companies using their innovative ideas.

    Best out of waste plastic bottles

    Waste Plastic bottles converted into garments, bedding comforters, footwear, etc. [Source of images: From the official company websites of respective brands.]


    Author: Sharada11 Apr 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

    It's really wonderful to know that well-known companies have taken up this challenge of eradicating plastic waste to make our environment free from plastic pollution.

    But the production of plastic is also continuing with most of the cool drinks, packaged water and liquor companies using plastic containers. How can we know the balancing scale between the production and usage of plastic bottles?

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