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Alt-Milk Maker Drops Upcycled Oat-Themed Denim and Tees

From new denim constructions, weights and washes to the steps global mills are taking to reduce impact, Rivet's SS23 In Season Look Book: Denim & Trims has everything you need to know for a successful denim season.

Fans of Swedish oat milk brand Oatly can now order a side of pre-owned apparel alongside their vegan creamer.

This month, the company dropped an experimental line of merch giving life to used clothing. Rather than selling oat-milk-themed gear made from virgin materials, the company is seeking to bring better-for-the-planet practices to its peripheral product lines by repurposing goods already in circulation.

With limited availability across North America, the ReRuns line of limited-edition pre-worn T-shirts and one-of-a-kind denim jackets launched on Oatly.com on Oct. 18. Oatly tapped emerging female artists including Stephanie Santana, Lindsey Made This, Jessica Warby, Nicole Chui, Ellen Jong, Emma Hall, Danica Pantic, Mary Kate McDevitt, Cymone Wilder, and Ann Chen to add their own creative spin to the jackets, which featured “oat-loving, plant-forward” imagery.

The company has teamed with Houston-based Goodfair, an online thrift store platform that sells themed bundles of clothing, to procure T-shirts, and “independent sellers and shops around the world” as well as “collectors that have a passion for vintage pieces” for the limited-edition drops, a brand spokesperson told Sourcing Journal.

An upcycled T-shirt bearing one of the brand's slogans.
An upcycled T-shirt bearing one of the brand’s slogans. Oatly

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Two jackets were sold each day at a price of $250 each through Friday, with all proceeds benefitting the Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC), a New York City nonprofit helping young women achieve their goals through mentoring and educational programming. LESGC’s plant-based after-school meals, grown on a rooftop garden, align with Oatly’s commitment to more sustainable and healthy food production. The nonprofit also offers instruction focused on environmental activism.

“Our awesome crew of Oatly evangelists have always been front and center, helping us spread the gospel that plant-based is better for the planet, and we’ve heard from them loud and clear that they want our merch,” Heidi Hackemer, executive creative director of Oatly North America, said in a statement. “However, it wouldn’t be Oatly if we didn’t find ways to constantly improve and strive to make everything we do and put out into this world environmentally thoughtful.”

“Through this experiment, we’re able to provide a handful of artists we love a platform to bring their talents to our Post Milk Generation fanbase, while also supporting a remarkable organization and lowering the impact of our merch,” she added.

Oatly plans to continue to offer its redesigned secondhand T-shirts alongside other limited edition merch drops.
Oatly plans to continue to offer its redesigned secondhand T-shirts alongside other limited edition merch drops. Oatly

Oatly plans to drop its second collection of merch for oat-milk enthusiasts in December with a series of one-off, artist-designed vintage holiday sweaters, Hackemer said. Priced at $18-$24, more upcyled T-shirts emblazoned with brand mantras like “Oat Milk Generation” will also come up for sale throughout the season.

The Nordic food company describes itself as the original purveyor of oat milk, having launched in 1994 before the alt-milk boom of soy, almond, coconut and hemp varieties now commonly consumed in many nations. Oatly believes oats are uniquely suited to promote sustainability and human health, and can replace resource-intensive dairy production while offering an alternative for lactose-intolerant consumers.