If you have been following my style journey for a while now, you know that I am a vocal advocate of not only supporting ethical and sustainable makers and products, but also eliminating the use of synthetics in your wardrobe.
Anytime I’m making a new purchase, I dig around the inside of the garment, find the content tag, and if I see polyester, nylon, or any other synthetic fiber I’ve trained myself to just stick it back on the rack and move on.
Videos like this, this, and this do a great job showcasing the magnitude of how plastic has impacted our environment, wildlife, and our own diets—and simple statistics and videos like these have gone a long way in really changing the way I think about my own consumption.
They display how plastic ends up in the stomachs of birds and fish, that we in turn eat transferring the micro-plastics into our own diets. They also show a glimpse of all of the marine life plastic kills and all of the natural resources of our earth that are forever tainted. Humans have produced over 8 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s, none of which can be fully broken down to naturally deteriorate, and 1 million bottles of water or soda are bought globally every minute. Honestly, once I started making a commitment to really be more conscious about my own plastic consumption, the more aware I became of just how much plastics permeate every second of our current culture.
From the straws we drink out of, the cheap fast fashion (and many not-so-cheap designers who also rely on synthetics to inflate their profit margins!) we clothe ourselves with, the bags we store our groceries in, cups we drink out of, bottles we shower with, and a million other un-notable moments in our everyday life, we’ve made single / temporary-use plastic an ever-present companion in our life.
So this Everlane ReNew line was super intriguing to me. Here is an ethically and sustainably-forward brand taking on plastic in garments not by shunning it but by fully embracing it.
What has attracted me to Everlane since their inception is their focus on ethical production and use of natural fibers—cotton, silks, cashmere—and offering them at reasonable prices. So introducing synthetics seemed like an odd step…except it’s very much not. It’s actually killing two birds with one stone.
Everlane took a look at the plastic pollution problem and decided to make a purpose out of all the plastic waste that is drowning the planet by creating an outerwear line exclusively made of only recycled plastic. Instead of producing MORE, they made use of what is already available in abundance. They then designed core pieces that will last years (they claim even decades) as useful pieces of our wardrobe (so still not a corner-cutting fast fashion piece) to block wind and keep us warm in cold fall and winter months. It’s brilliant. And this first round of pieces produced alone for their ReNew line reused 3 million plastic bottles.
But, let’s be real. I was curious but a little cynical about how these pieces would look and feel. I can honestly tell you that since I got this fleece in the mail, I’ve been wearing it to death. It’s soft and cozy with just enough stiffness for it to hold its shape a little and feel like a real fashion piece rather than lounge or sleepwear. It’s just thick enough that I can go braless (woop woop!), and I’ve worn with jeans and skirts alike at home to hangout and to work in a more polished setting.
It reminds me a bit of all the chic teddy bear jackets. TBH, I’m wearing it right now as I type, haha.
Each time I’ve worn it to work co-workers have complimented me on it and asked where it’s from, and I love that this particular piece saved 35 plastic bottles from polluting the environment. I know I’ll be wearing and layering with it a lot throughout the winter here in New England.
Have any of you ordered any of the ReNew line pieces yet? How are you liking it? I went with the fleece because I knew it was what I would get the most use out of, but if you are in the market for more of the puffer style pieces, Erin over at Reading My Tea Leaves wrote a nice review! Here’s hoping this concept spreads to other larger brands as well…
If you want to learn more about the stats and specifics of the ReNew line, browse here.
I’m wearing the ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt in Oak (size XS, c/o Everlane) and the Re/Done High Rise Ankle Crop Jean (similar). / Rachel Comey skirt (past season), vintage bag, and flea market found boots.
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