Bizarre item these togs are made from
A LOCAL swimwear designer has taken plastic recycling to the next level by becoming one of the first in the world to create eco-friendly togs from recycled plastic bottles.
Anna Crommelin, owner of Think Love Live, said 92 per cent of each of her swimwear items was made from recycled plastic bottles - an incredible achievement.
"The fashion industry has gone crazy pumping out low-quality, cheap garments that fall apart after a few years, adding to the rubbish we produce," she warned.
Her vision is to counter this by using fabric made from recycled plastic.
"Australians are showing they want to treat the planet with more respect by outlawing single use plastic bags, moving away from plastic straws and lining our bins with newspaper instead of plastic that doesn't break down.
"So, why not buy clothes made from waste?"
Ms Crommelin said in the light of how long it took for plastic bottles to breakdown, her swimwear was part of the solution for the environment.
"I want to be part of the slow fashion movement - clothes that are affordable and last," she said. "My swimwear is made up of polyester and spandex. It takes 50 per cent less energy to produce recycled polyester than to create it from scratch."
And for those who can't or don't wear bikinis, she said they too could help reduce plastic waste.
"They can start with not buying single-use plastic bottles, using their own mugs when they order coffee, taking their own bags when they shop and by not buying pre-packaged fruit and vegetables," she said.
She also encouraged locals to seek out ethical fashion and to talk to local businesses about how they could change practices that harm the environment.
"As consumers, we all can write to companies and change our behaviour because it's working."
Ms Crommelin said governments could also help.
"They can invest more in supporting closed-loop, supply chain manufacturing so that the plastic we have turns into reams of fabric, which local designers can use to create spectacular pieces," she said.
"There are recycling plants for plastic in this country, but they don't have the ability to turn plastic bottles into fabric. Other countries are harnessing this innovation and governments and business are investing in this overseas.
"Companies need to look at plastic alternatives," she said.
The designer said it was disturbing to read stories about councils wanting to stop recycling. "In the long run, investing in recycling plastic can save so much energy," she said.
"Sadly, there are no manufacturing plants in Australia that can do what we need to them to do."
Unfortunately, it was cheaper to manufacture bottles than to recycle and this had to change.