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Everlane is Ditching Virgin Plastic, Beginning With Its New Outerwear

Everlane is ditching virgin plastic.

The San Francisco-based, digitally native brand, which built a cult following based on its minimalist-luxe basics, has vowed to use only recycled alternatives by 2021.

Not that it’s waiting three years before efforts kick off in earnest. The self-styled “radically transparent” company announced on Thursday the latest addition to its product lineup: ReNew, a 13-piece collection of outerwear derived from 3 million reclaimed plastic bottles that have been washed, shredded, melted down and spun into yarn. 

Priced between $55 and $198, the range features six “insanely warm” puffers, four “soft” fleece pullovers and three “durable” parkas for men and women, as a website touting the waitlisted garments noted.

Ninety-nine percent of each piece is made from recycled plastic, according to Michael Preysman, Everlane’s founder and CEO. “Only the zippers and trim aren’t,” he said. “Turns out those can’t currently be sourced in recycled materials. We’re working on it.”

ReNew, Preysman added, marks the label’s first step toward fulfilling its 2021 promise: “It’s a collection and a commitment,” he said. Everlane also plans to eliminate 50 percent of all single-use plastic from its offices and brick-and-mortar stores by next March, and 100 percent by the time its self-appointed deadline rolls around. The company will form an international sustainability committee to give its employees a leg up on waste-reduction techniques as well as conduct progress audits to make sure its endeavor keeps chugging along. 

Its use of recycled polyester, sourced from a factory in Taiwan, is also only the beginning. By 2021, Everlane says it’ll redevelop all existing yarns, fabrics and raw materials containing virgin synthetic fibers with “renewed” (read: recycled) equivalents. When ReNew hits virtual shelves, Everlane will begin phasing in the use of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic poly bags for shipping. It expects to complete the transition by next year. 

“Plastic is poisoning our oceans, clogging landfills and destroying the environment,” Preysman said. “In just 60 years, we’ve created 8 billion tons of it. The worst part? Companies are making more than ever. And we just keep buying it. There’s only one solution: Stop creating virgin plastic—and instead, renew what’s already here.”

Preysman doesn’t expect eliminating plastic will be easy—things that are worth doing seldom are, he said.

“We know we’re only a small piece of the global puzzle,” he added. “But together, we can make a big impact.”

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