M a r k e t N e w s

Fashion industry turning up-cycled plastic into garments

Posted on : Thursday, 6th August 2020

The local fashion industry has turned upcycled waste materials into garments as a way to use plastic for good. Among the items is a trench coat created by VIVIERS Studio, made up of disposable sterilisation medical fabric that was previously used in hospital theatres as sheets or packaging of used apparatus.


The fashion industry is a very problematic space, but on a positive note we have been working to raise awareness about plastic and how it can be reused, said Twyg founder Jackie May, a non-profit organisation (NPO) which supports and eco-conscious and forward-thinking lifestyle.


Local ocean-minded non-profit organisations presented their innovations and solutions towards a plastic-free South Africa in a recent webinar on plastic waste management. About 61% of marine plastic waste is of low value, such as single-use items and sachets, said World Wildlife Fund South Africa’s Lorren de Kock. Only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling globally, she said.


We can't just say that we will just go plastic free. We have to differentiate what are the problematic plastics. What plastics do we need, such as in the medical sector and food preservation, she said. Most biodegradable or compostable plastics only degrade under very specific environmental conditions, concluded de Kock.


Twyg organised a Refashion Project which involved five South African designers who created garments and accessories by upcycling plastic waste materials. The design items were shared with five high-profile people. For last month’s pass-the-parcel Plastic Free July Project, selected designers created garments from waste plastics. Those individuals rewore and styled garments as they wished for social media.


I am starting to work on products on how to deal with textile waste and at the moment it is considered unrecyclable and 60% of the textile waste is polyester which is plastic. We have to move away from the idea that plastic is only disposable single use material. The beauty of plastic, the re-sharing and re-wearing. NPO The Beach Co-op focuses on single-use plastic to improve and ensure the health of our oceans.


Our main focus is building ocean communities. The ocean gives us oxygen to breath, it provides protein for us, said founder of The Beach Co-op Aaniyah Omardien. Their vision is to work collaboratively and creatively with ocean communities, and with the government to protect, restore and regenerate the integrity of our ocean ecosystems.


Our current focus is elimination of single-use plastic that's where the #PlasticFreeMzansi campaign comes into play. This is one of the projects that we are working on with Twyg and several other partners, she said. Climate change is just as important as the issues that we face with our oceans, added Omardien.


The organisation's achievements over the last year included 59 beach clean-ups, six tons of waste collected, 3 507 people and 1 663 learners reached, among others. Meanwhile, The Litterboom Project, an NPO, is tackling river and ocean pollution. The project is South Africa’s first large-scale river interception programme which focuses on stopping marine plastic pollution from ending up in the ocean.


Piped litter booms are placed in the Black River in the Hazendal and Raapenberg areas, as well as the Big and Little Lotus rivers in the Grassy Park region, close to where these two rivers flow into Zeekoevlei. These contraptions are placed by preventing the flow of plastic waste into water sources.


It has been a case of trying to find a more efficient way to remove plastic pollution from the waterways, said chief of The Litterboom Project, Cameron Service. The project is involved in removing plastic pollution from beaches, rivers and communities. Collection of waste ranges seasonally,but are between 150 to 300kg per day – three to six tons per month in Cape Town. Offset is about 65% from landfill sites into recycling facilities or innovation projects.

Source : iol.co.za
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