Fashion

Everlane's next step to sustainability? Recycled boots and sweaters

Posted by
Grace Cook
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Meghan Markle’s favourite brand is cleaning up the planet, one wardrobe staple at a time

It’s perhaps fitting that this week — the week when 16-year old environmental activist Greta Thunberg powerfully addressed the UN leaders at the world climate summit and demanded they take action to save the planet for future generations — is Recycle Week. The initiative is designed to promote household recycling, for those that might not yet be doing so — shockingly, only 60 percent of UK households currently recycle their waste. 

US company Everlane — a favourite of Meghan Markle, who just stepped out in its simple yet chic black jumpsuit — is renowned for its everyday wardrobe staples that are designed for endurance and are anything but trend-led. This week, the US-based brand shows us that we can be clever with not only what we recycle, but how. Everlane has just unveiled two new recycled product categories; a recycled cashmere collection, titled ReCashmere, and a boot line that is crafted from – wait for it — recycled plastic bottles collected from the ocean.

The move is especially important for sustainability; fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil. Giving second life to pre-made or pre-loved materials is key to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint and to prevent the further detrimental accumulation of waste. Currently, in the Pacific Ocean, resides a garbage patch of plastic so big, it is three times the size of France. (It’s estimated that 2.41 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea and rivers every year; and single-use plastic water bottles are a key culprit.) 

That’s why Everlane has embarked upon a mission to transform ocean trash into treasure: the glove boots, with a wearable everyday heel and a fitted silhouette, come in colours such as camel, ecru, black and bright blue — they’re the perfect style for autumn. Crafted from Everlane’s ReKnit technology, which breaks down plastic to turn it into woven fibre, each pair of boots is made up of 9 plastic bottles. 

But it’s not just plastic that’s the fashion industry’s problem; its use of other materials, like non-organic cotton, is putting pesticides into the atmosphere. Cashmere is a textile that is particularly destructive; farmed mostly in Mongolia, demand from the industry led to overproduction, which has deforested large areas of Mongolia as farmers made land available for vast amounts of goats to graze upon.

Everlane’s ReCashmere collection — for men and women — is super luxurious; blending 60 percent recycled cashmere with 40 percent extra fine marino wool; the result is a sweater or a cardigan that has less than half the carbon footprint of traditional cashmere. In neutral colourways including taupe, off-white and grey-blue, as well as rose and a pale mustard yellow, these knitwear pieces — with directional detailing including a button-up polo neck and a white-trimmed collar — will prove a staple in autumn/winter wardrobes. 

Shopping never felt so guilt free. 

Here’s our picks of the best bits from the collection. 

Everlane's Glove boot, £133

Glove boot, £129

Everlane ReCashmere cardigan

ReCashmere cardigan, £100

Everlane cashmere sweater

Cashmere sweater, £79

Everlane Glove boot, £129

Glove boot, £129

Everlane cashmere polo top

Cashmere mockneck jumper, £81