G-Star is taking on plastic waste. After releasing the G-Star Raw for the Oceans collection in 2014, which uses recycled plastic in jeans, the collection is now undertaking a new project combating plastic microfibers in clothes.
G-Star is collaborating with the Plastic Soup Foundation, an organization that works to prevent plastic from entering the oceans. The companies wrote in a release that in 2025, there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the ocean. Apparel is contributing to this waste.
Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation, said, “Leading European research recently showed that a fleece releases an incredible 1 million microfibers every time it is washed.” She continued, “If you imagine that every day a couple of billion people around the world wash their clothing and that almost every item of clothing contains plastic nowadays, you can easily see why it is imperative to deal with this cause of the plastic soup immediately.”
The two companies are asking other fashion companies, washing machine manufacturers and the textile industry to support an initiative they are calling the international Ocean Clean Wash.
The signatories are promising to contribute one or more innovative solutions to prevent the release of plastic fibers in the future. Examples would be fabrics that do not release microfibers or washing machine filters that capture the fibers. The technological center LEITAT will collaborate in the initiative to research the technical feasibility of the solutions proposed.
Frouke Bruinsma, corporate responsibility director of G-Star said, “With Raw for the Oceans we were the first to make denim from recycled ocean plastic and we are now starting to completely replace the 10% conventional polyester in our collection with recycled plastic. We want to continue to create progress through sustainable innovation and join forces with the Plastic Soup Foundation to battle the microfiber problem.”