By incorporating ocean plastics into its products, Gant joins brands like G-Star Raw, Adidas and Stella McCartney. And while some may associate recycled textiles with synthetic-feeling performance gear, Gant’s cottony-soft shirts are proof that recycled materials don’t have to mean compromising on quality and comfort.
The new shirts, part of its technical line of wickable and breathable shirts called Tech Prep, will include 10% upcycled plastics. Gant, which is based in Stockholm and owned by the Swiss retail group Maus Freres, worked with Seaqual, a Madrid-based organization, that creates 100% recycled polyester filament by recycling rubbish made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, that fishermen on 165 boats pull from the sea. Seaqual, founded two years ago, is itself an alliance of the Ecoalf Foundation, textile group Santanderina and spinning mill Antex. Seaqual makes a polyester filament from the recovered plastic waste, which is then woven into the yarn to create the material for the shirt. As consumers increasingly buy clothes made of technical fabrics, which are made of petroleum-based textiles, and plastic waste has proliferated, such recycling and upcycling efforts have gained in importance.