The genesis of the partnership was announced last summer surrounding the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. About 72,000 Evian water bottles collected during the two-week event became the feedstock for this season’s collection of 3D-knitted sneakers and accessories.
Nearly 10 tons of plastic waste is collected and diverted from landfills at the U.S. Open each September, and the duo sought a solution for a portion of that refuse with this collection. Evian’s bottles were integrated into the Rothy’s supply chain and blended with other recycled plastic bottles to form its signature thread. Using Rothy’s low-waste manufacturing technique melting, pelletizing and extruding plastics into polyester yarns 3D-knit into precise patterns the collaborators created a line of seven tennis-ready products.
A unisex cap, visor, racket bag, sling, duffel bag and slip-on and low-top lace-up sneakers come in white with red, pink, navy and baby blue accents. The products’ debut was timed to coincide with the peak of the 2022 tennis season. Ranging in price from $75 to $495, the machine-washable tennis capsule is available for a limited time through Rothy’s e-commerce site and New York City stores.
The launch follows both Rothy’s and Evian plans to become fully circular by 2023 and 2025, respectively. Rothy’s is working to solidify a process for integrating twice-recycled materials into new products, which involves collecting its own used shoes and bags to be melted down and re-spun into usable yarns.
The brand was founded to mitigate waste and promote circularity, and these efforts advance that mission, according to Rothy’s head of sustainability, Saskia van Gendt. “We have built a sustainable business from the ground up, including an owned and operated Rothy’s factory” in Dongguan, China, “where every single Rothy’s product is made,” she said. “We are excited to collaborate with Evian to showcase Rothy’s transformative capabilities and prove that through innovation we find new uses for single use plastic.”
Evian, a subsidiary of certified B Corp Danone North America, now uses fully recyclable plastic bottles in its packaging, and in the U.S., all 1.5 liter water bottles are now made from twice-recycled plastic. “Our pioneering spirit drives the Evian brand to find revolutionary and sustainable ways to help limit packaging waste and promote recycling,” Evian North America marketing director Leeni Hämäläinen said.
“This partnership has allowed us further our circular commitment and truly give our product a second life,” she added. The duo is collectively “inspired by the sport of tennis, and after an exciting journey together over the past year, we are thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind collection to the world.”