Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fashion, form in recycling


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THE NEXT TIME you take a sip of drink from that PET bottle, imagine the colour shirt you want to wear.
Or think of the stationery in your hand.
It’s not as far-fetched as it would seem, as one regional company has demonstrated.
It is the latest feature of the recycling scene, turning that PET bottle which might have been destined for a landfill or even an illegal dump site, into a ready-to-wear polo or T-shirt, a trendy hoodie or the pencil and notebook in your hand.
The range of products and clothing, produced from recycled materials, was unveiled at the recent 4Rs recycling fair at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The company and the initiative are the brainchild of managing director of Trinidadian company Poui Ltd., Anderson Wellington, who was here to try to whip up support for his products.
Wellington explained his company was an environmentally-geared business which promoted “everything eco-friendly”.
“We’re going from recycled cardboard, recycled plastic, recycled tyres and we’ve shown how we can change them from all of these discarded materials into everyday corporate items and promotional products,” he said.
The products range from polo and T-shirts to bins. Poui Ltd. uses PET bottles, recycled cotton, even old tyres.
Along with the finished products, Wellington had the different stages of the production line on display – the PET bottle; the plastic to which it had been reduced; the cotton-like material it became when it had been recycled and then the finished product.
The shirts feel like they are made from regular material but Wellington promises that his clothing won’t fade, shrink or stretch.
The company’s mission, he explained, was not just to sell its products, but to educate people.
“It’s not just coming and seeing a T-shirt but understanding where that T-shirt came from and the value of that shirt – how it is you can contribute to the environment and the benefit from wearing a T-shirt like this,” he told the SUNDAY?SUN.
“For example,” he explained, “one polo/T-shirt is equivalent to 14 bottles, so you’re quantifying how many bottles you are taking away from the landfill.
“So this is what we’re trying to promote and show people: ‘Hey, you’re talking about going green. You don’t need a whole lot of money; you can make that change in your daily lives’.”
However, production and manufacturing costs have been prohibitive for the Trinidadian company, so much so that the shirts, stationery and other items are not made in the twin-island republic.
“The manufacturing process is intense, but because of setbacks, they aren’t all manufactured in Trinidad. And that’s due to cost also,” Wellington revealed.
“So now in order that the product is available and at a cost-effective price to the region, it’s mass-produced.
“So I have to liaise with my manufactures outside of the country and that way I can get it here and at affordable prices,” he said.

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