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Stella McCartney, IKEA Find New Uses for Garbage, Plastic Bags

Brands continue to uncover new ways to transform waste into valuable materials, providing critical solutions for pressing problems such as ocean plastics.

Stella McCartney is the latest label to team up with Parley for the Oceans in an effort to keep plastics out of the world’s oceans. The designer, who previously designed a sneaker for adidas in partnership with Parley, intends to use the nonprofit’s recycled plastic yarn in lieu of woven or recycled polyester in her line of shoes, accessories and outerwear.

“To take something that is destructive and turn it into something that’s sexy and cool, how can that not be luxury?” McCartney said.

Full details of the collaboration — including partnership length and percentage of product to be made from the material — have yet to be disclosed, but both Parley and Stella McCartney hope that the move will serve as an example for the fashion industry and encourage other key players to follow suit.

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Stella McCartney expects to roll out pieces made with Parley’s material in July. One of the first pieces to go to market is the Falabella GO backpack, made from recycled marine plastic. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards Sea Shepherd, an international nonprofit ocean conservation organization.

This isn’t the label’s first flirtation with a sustainability oriented organization, making the move a logical next step. Stella McCartney has previously partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. The brand has also been a strong proponent of using low impact fabrics, relying on materials such as viscose sourced from non-endangered or ancient forests and cashmere derived from post-factory waste.

“When I was younger, leather equaled luxury and people could not get their head around the fact that I was not using leather. Leather is cheaper than some of the non-leather alternatives, it’s less interesting or fashionable,” McCartney added. “Is a recycled plastic ever going to be something people think is a luxury? If they don’t notice it and if they feel that living on this planet longer is a luxury, then yes, to me that’s my idea of luxury.”


Meanwhile, IKEA is showing consumers how to give new life to its FRAKTA tote. A slew of weird and wonderful creations made from the iconic blue bag have recently been taking cyberspace by storm (among them sneakers, face masks and thongs) and the Scandinavian retailer has taken note. In response, IKEA has rolled out a new campaign sharing a range of FRAKTA hacks, as well as promotional FRAKTA bags equipped with dotted lines along the interior and a booklet explaining how to repurpose it into everything from a superhero cape to an apron and picnic blanket.

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