Cape Town is renowned for its beautiful beaches, often being voted among the top international holiday destinations to visit. Unfortunately, much like other beaches around the world, it can often be overrun by heaps of plastic washed ashore from the ocean.
Thankfully, a Cape Town based company called GiLo Lifestyle has managed to turn a negative into positive by collecting plastics found on beaches and turning it into fashionable, high-quality board shorts. Started by Gina Tarboton and Loren Dyer, hence the name ‘Gilo’, their goal is to provide fashionable goods to the everyday consumer without harming animals or the environment.
To create their environmentally friendly range of clothing, Gilo Lifestyle collects plastic waste from beaches around the world and strips them of all labels and caps. The waste is then thoroughly washed to remove any contaminants picked up at sea.
The next step involves processing the plastic into tiny flakes before getting another wash to ensure there is nothing left besides 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET)
Once the only thing left behind is RPET, it gets transformed into small pellets of 100% recycled plastic.
Finally, the RPET pellets are stretched out into yarn, which is then woven into fabric and before it gets made into clothing, 8% spandex is added to provide the fabric with extra stretch and comfort.
According to Gilo Lifestyle, an average of 20 plastic bottles goes into making one pair of board shorts and about 12 to 13 plastic bottles goes into making a pair of kids board shorts.
— GiLo Lifestyle (@GiloLifestyle) December 18, 2019
Along with board shorts, Gilo Lifestyle makes a range of long and short sleeve puffer jackets insulated with a DuPont called Sorona instead of duck down. Sorona is a high-performance fiber made in part from renewable plant-based ingredients and provides the same heat retention as duck down.
Tarboton and Dyer said on their website, “We believe that every life matters and refuse to let ducks suffer for fashion. We aim to shed light on the cruelty of the duck down industry by exposing the inhumane practice of plucking ducks for their feathers.”