In terms of eco-friendly outdoor gear, its tough to top the new vest that just went on sale from a company called Dirtball. Not only is the garment made from recycled plastic water bottles, but it has also been designed to be easily recyclable at the end of its life as well. And while it won’t necessarily win any awards for fashion, it does appear to be a classic-looking vest that can be worn in a wide variety of environments.
Dubbed “The 40” because it takes 40 recycled plastic water bottles to make, the new vest sells for $130 on the Dirtball website. The company says that their latest product was designed from the ground, up to be friendly to the environment, and it means it. For every 100 of these vests sold, 4000 plastic bottles will be kept out of the landfill, which equates to a savings of about 200 gallons of oil. And when customers are done wearing their 40, they can opt to send it back to Dirtball to be recycled once again. Its fabrics will than be incorporated into the construction of other articles of clothing.
This is the third “closed loop” product that Dirtball has created. The others include The 50 Jacket – which this vest closely resembles – and The Dirt Short. Both of those garments are made from recycled bottle, and can be returned for recycling at the end of their usefulness as well. Customers who do so receive a discount on other purchases from the company.
Dirtball is also quick to point out that The 40 is made entirely in the U.S. All of its components, including zippers, fabric, trim, and quilting are all sourced from within the country, with the product itself is assembled in North Carolina. The company says that this not only helps to support local economies, but keeps shipping costs and distances down, further helping the environment.
Personally, I applaud their efforts in creating good-looking, eco-friendly gear that they further support with recycling efforts down the line. Hopefully these products will be a big success, not just for Dirtball, but for the sake of the planet as well.