Fashion brand Rothy’s is aiming to put plastic water bottles to good use. Using its innovative in-house technology, the company is converting recycled Evian water bottles into tennis accessories and footwear just in time for the 2022 U.S. Open.
Other brands have adopted similar technology in their collections, and the Evian partnership utilizes between 4 and 56 water bottles per item. Rothy’s already prides itself on sustainable fashion, having repurposed more than 400,000 pounds of ocean-bound marine plastic into its knit yarns to date.
The collection is meant to take on the tennis court with a racket bag, duffel bag, sling bag, hat, visor, and two sneakers. Each arrives in a white U.S. Open-approved washable fabric with red and blue accenting. Men's and women’s sneakers come in the style of an RS-01 and slip-on sneaker, respectively, as limited-edition releases. The sneaker’s outsole is even semi-translucent as a nod to the Evian bottle caps.
Don’t keep it bottled up — Evian has been a sponsor of the U.S. Open tennis competition for over thirty years, which is where the water bottles were sourced. About 72,000 bottles were collected from the U.S. Open, equivalent to an hour’s worth of product from the company’s warehouses. After the bottles had been collected, they were chipped, melted, and converted into a thread that could be used in Rothy’s innovative 3D-knit manufacturing.
Rothy’s sustainable ethos has led the brand to spearhead some of the most innovative tech and research in the circular fashion industry. It took three and a half years of research from the brand’s 2012 founding to launch its first product, and owning its factory allows for a better handle on its low-waste practices. Thirty percent of traditional cut-and-sew material waste is saved because artisans craft each piece by hand.
“We’re doing a zero-waste certification at our factories so we’re always looking at how we can eliminate waste throughout the entire manufacturing process,” Saskia van Gendt, Rothy’s head of sustainability, told WWD. “This [collection] is a great testament to that — turning bottles back into thread is a great example of how you can eliminate waste.”
Even Rothy’s packaging and shipping practices are engineered to be more sustainable, as it ships directly from its warehouse with post-consumer recycled content and boxing. The Rothy’s and Evian collection ranges from $75 to $495 exclusively on Rothy’s website and in its New York City stores.