Gear Guide: An Ingenious Afterlife for Water Bottles

By Su Reid-St. John

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m all about recycling. (Yep, I’m the gal following you into the office kitchen to make sure that soda can goes into the right bin!) But you don’t have to be a super-greenie like me to love EARTHTEC’s line of recycled clothing, designed for active outdoor types.

Get this: The manufacturer shreds recycled plastic bottles (an average of a dozen per garment) and turns them into thread, which is then made into fabric. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for comfy clothes you’d actually want to wear, does it? But it is—I’m talking cozy hoodies, soft-as-butter pullovers, fleecy pants, even sleek windproof shells and cold-busting insulated jackets. You’d never know what this stuff was made of if no one told you.

And the pieces are cute, too! The styles are flattering, the colors muted but lovely (think earthy browns, cheerful corals, seaside blues). Some are even embossed with a clever, eye-catching pattern that looks like row after row of bottles (get it?). And even though the clothes are intended for hikers, skiers, and the like, they’re just as great for running errands around town—or yes, lounging on the sofa.

Consider this: Americans throw away an average of 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Not every day—every hour. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if all those bottles were instead given a truly useful afterlife? I think EARTHTEC is onto something here.


Category: Apparel

Cost: $ 44.95 to $ 139.95 at

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