22 Oct

10 Amazing Brands That Turn Plastic Waste Into Wardrobe Winners

It’s said that every piece of plastic ever made still exists today. Most plastics are not biodegradable – they just keep breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces and, along with more trash than we can readily comprehend, end up dumped into the ocean and swallowed by hundreds of animal species.

Plastic has got to go, but while companies and people are beginning to cut down, it’s not disappearing any time soon. If we continue to use and dispose of it at this rate, the ocean will have more plastic than fish by 2050. I don’t know about you, but that terrifies us here at Good On You.

That is where recycling comes in. While only a small portion of plastic is currently recycled, more and more fashion companies are doing their bit by transforming plastic waste into – you guessed it – clothes and accessories. If it’s going to be around for hundreds of years anyway, why not wear it?

So, we dug up the top 10 ethical fashion brands that have taken up the gauntlet and given this immortal waste new life – read on so you can do your bit in the war on waste, too.


Rated: Good

V-12 B-mesh Granny Sneakers – Shipping internationally

French brand Veja, already known globally for producing ethical sneakers, are taking fairtrade footwear and accessories to the next level with their introduction of a material called B-mesh (“bottle mesh”) that is made from recycled plastic bottles. There are three bottles in each pair of sneakers, and the fabric created from them is touted as both breathable and waterproof- ideal characteristics of footwear. The rest of the shoe should keep you smiling too, with a high proportion of eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and rubber sourced directly from farmers who are assured a living wage.

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Shop Veja.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good

Citrine Compressive High-Rise Legging – Shipping to the US, UK, Australia, and Canada


Donning activewear made of trash doesn’t sound all that appealing – but it should. Girlfriend Collective is a truly transparent company that ethically produces sports bras and leggings made from recycled plastic. Their recycled polyester is made from plastic bottles in Taiwan, and their nylon transforms recycled fishing nets that would otherwise end up in the ocean suffocating countless sea creatures into ECONYL®. Both materials prove perfect for activewear with their moisture-wicking abilities, and GC goes above and beyond by creating cute clothes for everyone, with sizes from XXS to XXXL in a range of gorgeous OEKO-certified safe dyed colours.

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Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Rated: Good

Gold Ultraboost Sneakers – Shipping internationally

In an eco power collaboration we didn’t know we needed but definitely deserve, footwear company Adidas paired with sustainable luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney to create stunning sneakers that look and feel great. Not only that, but they should make you feel great as well. Made from 57% recycled Parley Ocean Plastic®, you can walk the walk knowing you helped prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean.

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Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Farfetch.

Dresden Optics

Rated: Good

Limited Edition Money Frames – Shipping internationally

There is nothing more sustainable than a closed-loop system, and ethical eyewear company Dresden boasts just that. Not only are their products fully recyclable, but some of them are even made from recycled materials in the first place like milk bottle tops and fishing nets- even banknotes! They are also super affordable, not to mention customisable- the lenses are interchangeable across all frame colour combos you can imagine.

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Shop Dresen Optics.


Rated: Good

Orca Swimsuit – Shipping internationally

They’re rubbish. Literally. Batoko is an independent British swimwear brand that makes their products entirely out of recycled plastic! Rubbish that would otherwise have ended up swimming in the ocean with our animal friends and wreaking havoc is given new, adorable life with these swimmers made for women and kids. On top of that, they support the Marine Conservation Society and their products are entirely vegan!

See the rating.

Shop Batoko.


Rated: Good

Men’s Nano Puff Jacket in Micro Green – Shipping internationally


Patagonia is leading the way in ethical outdoor wear, producing hardy products made from a high proportion of eco-friendly materials like recycled down, wool, and polyester. Back in 1993 they created fleece made from recycled plastic bottles, and they have only improved their materials since then. There is also a repair and reuse program in place, so your Patagonia products should last a long time indeed!

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Shop Patagonia.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good

Carla Bikini Top  – Shipping internationally


Mara Hoffman is a lifestyle women’s brand with designer clothing that is long-lasting and high-quality. It uses a range of earth conscious materials including GOTS certified cotton, recycled nylon and recycled polyester, and some products are Oeko-Tex STeP certified, too. From block colours to bubbly patterns, Mara Hoffman has got you covered from the beach to the altar and everywhere in between.

See the rating.

Shop Mara Hoffman.


Rated: Good

Cotinga 25L Pack – Shipping internationally


It makes sense that people who love the outdoors want to leave a light footprint on the earth, which is why innovative Kiwi company Kathmandu has sustainability on its mind. With solid commitments to reduce carbon emissions and a good proportion of responsible materials, they produce outdoor wear that you can sport proudly.

Shop Kathmandu

Elle Evans

Rated: Great

Windsor Bikini Top and Jayco Bikini Bottoms in Sunshine – Shipping internationally


Melbourne-based swimwear label Elle Evans is leading the way in sustainable swimwear, creating gorgeous swimmers for women and children made out of post-consumer waste fabrics. They also offer a take-back service so your worn out pieces can be disposed of thoughtfully. If you care about fashion and the future, this is the brand for you!


Rated: Good

Slip on Sneaker – Shipping within the US


US based footwear company Rothy’s believes doing good should look good, too. They make cute and practical shoes out of recycled water bottles that were once destined for landfill. Their range is vegan and cold machine washable once you pop out the insole, and they boast a no break-in period. For statement flats, points, loafers or sneakers that leave a very light footprint indeed, look no further!

So there you have it! Ten innovative brands rated Good or Great that are doing their bit to put plastic to good use, taking it out of landfill and the ocean and giving it new and sustainable life in fashion. Do you know another amazing brand that uses recycled plastic waste in their products?

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash. All images via the brands mentioned. Good On You has big plans for ethical fashion! To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offers code or affiliate links.

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