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Our favorite clothes made with recycled materials

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Our favorite clothes made with recycled materials

I love the clothes, but the fashion industry is going through a crisis of its own, on top of the trash crisis and general climate crisis we’ve been dealing with for decades. Textile waste and other plastic waste is polluting our oceans, lining streets in both cities and rural areas, and harming animals trying to go about their daily lives. We can reduce our own plastic use, especially by swapping out single-use plastics for reusable items, but some fashion brands have figured out how to turn some of that trash (mainly plastic bottles and old clothes) into new t-shirts and accessories.

Sustainable fashion is a growing category and it’s not perfect, but it’s a start. These are our favorite garments made with recycled materials that we have tested. Be sure to check out our other product guides, like the best recycled bags, the best everyday products made with recycled materials, and the best reusable products.

Updated April 2024: We added a Carve Designs sweater, Swedish tights, and new Verloop slippers. We’ve also updated prices and links throughout.

How plastic becomes thread

Most companies use “post-consumer” plastic, meaning it comes from plastic that has been used and recycled. “Pre-consumer” means it comes from waste in the manufacturing process before someone buys it. Plastic bottles are collected, dried, crushed and turned into small balls. Then the plastic passes an extruder machinethat rotates and throws it like candy to turn it into thread. This still consumes a lot of energy and resources, but produces much less waste. Everyone needs clothes, so they might as well be more sustainable.

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