This week we spoke to Joe Fox from Dirtball Fashion, an American company making clothes from recycled plastic.
“The idea behind Dirtball Fashion was to make a 100% sustainable product, and by that I mean 100% recycled content and 100% made in the USA. At the moment we are making and selling tees, truckers, socks, shorts, polos, jeans, hoodies and sweat shirts.”
How does using recycled materials differ from using new ones and how is it important to you?
"Every year the US alone produces 52 billion water bottles; of that, only 30% are recycled. The rest go into landfills. Each bottle costs approximately 10 cents to make and uses a half point of crude oil to produce.
Recycled plastic takes just an eighth of the energy. That is a lot of money and oil saved by using recycled plastic content."
What do you take into consideration when designing a new product?
"We consider what the fabric technology will allow us to do and what the U.S. cut and sew operations feel comfortable producing. By doing this, we ensure we have a high quality recycled plastic product."
How much of an environmental hazard do you believe landfills to be?
"I guess it depends on what goes in them. If it is easily biodegradable, not too much. If it is water bottles or other petroleum based products, it's not good for the water shed."
Is it hard to source the plastic to make your recycled products?
"No, it's actually really easy and getting easier. Ethically sourcing are materials is making our business model more sustainable." What makes you different from other sustainable/recycling brands?
"It's probably that we have the largest product selection of any Eco USA apparel brand and use 27 different mills to produce all of our products. As the technology evolves we will continue to develop new products and multi-chain international distribution services."
Do you have any tips for people who would like to start their own recycled fashion line?
"Don’t, it is very hard. I was a professional race car driver before I started my “second” career and it was easier. If you do it, go all in and don’t look back. You have to have total commitment to your entrepreneurial vision.
Thanks for the opportunity to tell a little bit of our story!"