Annie Leonard, creator of this groundbreaking internet documentary has put together three more great short films, including the “Story of Bottled Water”:
Annie makes the viewer reconsider bottled water consumption; the unecessary invention of a developed world, where tap water is completely safe and drinkable, yet billions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles are discarded as a result.
There are many inventive ways to re-use plastic bottles such as the recycled bottle boat sailing accross the world. The Plastiki recently reached Sydney, Australia after an 8,000 nautical mile journey. Made from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles, the Plastiki set out on its mission in March from San Francisco to help raise awareness about waste by sailing right through the Pacific Garbage Patch.
Image c/o inhabitat
Here are some other links to creative ways in which to use plastic bottles; I particularly like the winter star garlands.
So what can we do with plastic bottles in fashion? Can we do anything? Well, maybe.
There is a material called eco-fi; a polyester fibre made from 100% post consumer plastic bottles.
"Eco-fi is a high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. It can go into any textile product such as clothing, blankets, carpets, wall coverings, auto interiors, home furnishings, and craft felt. Eco-fi can also be blended with other fibers, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities. Fabrics made from Eco-fi fiber are chemically and functionally nearly identical to those made from non-recycled fabrics. The difference is that Eco-fi fiber is made without depleting the Earth’s natural resources. With properties such as strength, softness, shrinkage-resistance, and colorfastness, market applications for Eco-fi are expanding every day"
Where can you buy eco-fi? Here is an online retail / wholesale guide.
There is not so much eco-fi used in clothing fashion as yet, but I'm sure we will be seeing more of this type of eco thread in the future.
There are however, other clever ways to utilise plastic bottles in accessories, such as pretty bracelet cuffs. There are a few tutorials online to make simple cuff bracelets, such as the felt fabric bracelet (use eco-fi, and have a double whammy recycled plastic bottle bracelet!) Below are some pretty handmade bracelets for sale on etsy:
US $24 by BeBox"Take one plastic bottle and recycle, add one vintage flowered handkerchief, add a few faux pink pearls, embellish with vintage hanky flower, add a little craft magic, and you have a flower bracelet as cute as Anthropologie or Free People, but better.... handmade one of a kind."
US$11 by ElectricPenguin
"The base of this unique and eco friendly bracelet is cut from a plastic bottle! Next it is layered with hemp, then adorned with glass beads in coordinating shades of blues, greens and purples. 4mm wood beads are strung on at intervals as accents. The bracelet is somewhat flexible, and fits an average wrist - the inside opening is just over 2 1/2". The height is 1 1/2".