Heading to Everlane.com has never given me anxiety before. In fact, it’s a website I browse (far too) often, frequently snapping up multiples of their soft tees, sweaters and no-fuss leather shoes. But when I innocently headed to the site today to look deeper at the brand’s new anti-plastic initiative, ReNew, a ticker on the homepage quickly began spinning, the number on the screen rapidly shooting up into the thousands.
Apparently in the 30 seconds since I’d landed on the website, 580,000 plastic bottles had been manufactured. That is a sobering—and like I said, anxiety-inducing–number. But it’s a reality the Everlane team is well aware of, which is why this week the San Francisco-based company announced its commitment to eliminate newly-made (or virgin) plastic from its supply chain, offices and stores by 2021.
In the past 60 years, more than 80 billion tonnes of plastic have been manufactured—and there’s nowhere for them to go. Every single one of those non-biodegradable pieces of plastic is ending up in landfills or polluting our oceans.
“Plastic is destroying our planet and there is only one solution: Stop creating virgin plastic and renew what’s already here,” Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman said in a statement. “Companies have to take the lead and any company that hasn’t made this commitment is actively choosing to not improve our environment.”
So yesterday, the “radically transparent” company launched its ReNew collection, a line of outerwear crafted out of three million discarded plastic bottles. Some specifics: a reversible puffer jacket is made from 16 recycled bottles, a fleece zip-up out of 41, and an oversized parka out of 56.
“Our goal is to reduce our impact on the environment, renew where we can and ultimately get customers to think the same way,” Preysman told GQ.
Oh, and by the way, that ticker? It’s up to 6,700,000 now.
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